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Multilevel Analysis of the Impact of School-Level Tobacco Policies on Adolescent Smoking: The Case of Michigan

11 Sep 2013

ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND

In efforts to curb and prevent youth smoking, school tobacco policies have become an important and effective strategy. This study explores the degrees and types of tobacco-free school policy (TFSP) enforcement that are associated with adolescent smoking.

METHODS

A multilevel analysis was performed using 983 students who are nested in 14 schools. The individual-level data are drawn from the 2009 Michigan Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The school-level data are drawn from the 2008 School Health Profiles survey.

RESULTS

Two factors are associated with lower adolescent smoking: greater punishment for TFSP violation and more tobacco control communication efforts. By contrast, the factors associated with higher adolescent smoking are designation of a tobacco-free school zone and school-level smoking.

CONCLUSIONS

This study theoretically and methodologically guides researchers to test TFSP effectiveness in other states. Three strategic implications emerge: (1) schools should provide a consistent antismoking message in smoke-free environments; (2) schools should integrate TFSP into a comprehensive tobacco control initiative, including community-wide tobacco control programs and messages; and (3) the way a specific TFSP is promoted and communicated could determine how effective it is.

Date: 
11 September 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of School Health