Supporting evidence based tobacco control through intelligence, evaluation and research.
Public Health Institute has undertaken a range of projects to provide policymakers and practitioners with the latest evidence on tobacco control policy and practice.
Original research and reviews of published literature are used to understand a range of topics including tobacco industry denormalisation interventions to reduce tobacco use in young people and the relationship between smoking behaviours and demographics, income, parental smoking, leisure activities and alcohol consumption.
Tobacco control forms a part of other areas of work undertaken by Public Health Institute including population health surveys.
Publications for Tobacco
Papers for Tobacco
Effect of a sport-for-health intervention (SmokeFree Sports) on smoking-related intentions and cognitions among 9-10 year old primary school children: a controlled trial
Dr Ciara McGee, Joanne Trigwell, Stuart Fairclough, Rebecca Murphy, Dr Lorna Porcellato, Michael Ussher, Lawrence Foweather
BMC Public Health, BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 16:445, 2016.
Abstract: Background: Preventing children from smoking is a public health priority. This study evaluated the effects of a sport-for-health smoking prevention programme (SmokeFree Sports) on smoking-related intentions and cognitions among primary school children from deprived communities. Methods: A non-randomised-controlled trial targeted 9-10 year old children from Merseyside, North-West England. 32 primary schools received a programme of sport-for-health activities over 7 months; 11 comparison schools followed usual routines. Data were collected pre-intervention (T0), and at 8 months (T1) and one year post-intervention (T2). Smoking-related intentions and cognitions were assessed using an online questionnaire. Intervention effects were analysed using multi-level modelling (school, student), adjusted for baseline values and potential confounders. Mixed-sex focus groups (n = 18) were conducted at T1. Results: 961 children completed all assessments and were included in the final analyses. There were no significant differences between the two study groups for non-smoking intentions (T1: β = 0.02, 95 % CI = -0.08–0.12; T2: β = 0.08, 95 % CI = -0.02–0.17) or for cigarette refusal self-efficacy (T1: β = 0.28, 95 % CI = -0.11–0.67; T2: β = 0.23, 95 % CI = -0.07–0.52). At T1 there was a positive intervention effect for cigarette refusal self-efficacy in girls (β = 0.72, 95 % CI = 0.21–1.23). Intervention participants were more likely to ‘definitely’ believe that: ‘it is not safe to smoke for a year or two as long as you quit after that’ (RR = 1.19, 95 % CI = 1.07–1.33), ‘it is difficult to quit smoking once started’ (RR = 1.56, 95 % CI = 1.38–1.76), ‘smoke from other peoples’ cigarettes is harmful’ (RR = 1.19, 95 % CI = 1.20–2.08), ‘smoking affects sports performance’ (RR = 1.73, 95 % CI = 1.59–1.88) and ‘smoking makes ‘no difference’ to weight’ (RR = 2.13, 95 % CI = 1.86–2.44). At T2, significant between-group differences remained just for ‘smoking affects sports performance’ (RR = 1.57, 95 % CI = 1.43–1.72). Focus groups showed that SFS made children determined to remain smoke free and that the interactive activities aided children’s understanding of smoking harms. Conclusion: SFS demonstrated short-term positive effects on smoking attitudes among children, and cigarette refusal self-efficacy among girls. Although no effects were observed for non-smoking intentions, children said that SFS made them more determined not to smoke. Most children had strong intentions not to smoke; therefore, smoking prevention programmes should perhaps target early adolescents, who are closer to the age of smoking onset.
Influence of family and friend smoking on intentions to smoke and smoking-related attitudes and refusal self-efficacy among 9–10 year old children from deprived neighbourhoods: a cross-sectional study
Dr Ciara McGee, Joanne Trigwell, Rebecca Murphy, Dr Lorna Porcellato, Michael Ussher, Lawrence Foweather
BMC Public Health 15:225, 2015.
Abstract: Background: Smoking often starts in early adolescence and addiction can occur rapidly. For effective smoking prevention there is a need to identify at risk groups of preadolescent children and whether gender-specific intervention components are necessary. This study aimed to examine associations between mother, father, sibling and friend smoking and cognitive vulnerability to smoking among preadolescent children living in deprived neighbourhoods. Methods: Cross-sectional data was collected from 9–10 year old children (n =1143; 50.7% girls; 85.6% White British) from 43 primary schools in Merseyside, England. Children completed a questionnaire that assessed their smoking-related behaviour, intentions, attitudes, and refusal self-efficacy, as well as parent, sibling and friend smoking. Data for boys and girls were analysed separately using multilevel linear and logistic regression models, adjusting for individual cognitions and school and deprivation level. Results: Compared to girls, boys had lower non-smoking intentions (P = 0.02), refusal self-efficacy (P = 0.04) and were less likely to agree that smoking is ‘definitely’ bad for health (P < 0.01). Friend smoking was negatively associated with non-smoking intentions in girls (P < 0.01) and boys (P < 0.01), and with refusal self-efficacy in girls (P < 0.01). Sibling smoking was negatively associated with non-smoking intentions in girls (P < 0.01) but a positive association was found in boys (P = 0.02). Boys who had a smoking friend were less likely to ‘definitely’ believe that the smoke from other people’s cigarettes is harmful (OR 0.57, 95% CI: 0.35 to 0.91, P = 0.02). Further, boys with a smoking friend (OR 0.38, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.69, P < 0.01) or a smoking sibling (OR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.98) were less likely to ‘definitely’ believe that smoking is bad for health. Conclusion: This study indicates that sibling and friend smoking may represent important influences on 9–10 year old children’s cognitive vulnerability toward smoking. Whilst some differential findings by gender were observed, these may not be sufficient to warrant separate prevention interventions. However, further research is needed.
Process evaluation of a sport-for-health intervention to prevent smoking amongst primary school children: SmokeFree Sports
Joanne Trigwell, Dr Ciara McGee, Rebecca Murphy, Dr Lorna Porcellato, Michael Ussher, Katy Garnham-Lee, Zoe Knowles, Lawrence Foweather
BMC Public Health 15:347, 2015.
Abstract: Background: SmokeFree Sports (SFS) was a multi-component sport-for-health intervention aiming at preventing smoking among nine to ten year old primary school children from North West England. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the process and implementation of SFS, examining intervention reach, dose, fidelity, acceptability and sustainability, in order to understand the feasibility and challenges of delivering such interventions and inform interpretations of intervention effectiveness. Methods: Process measures included: booking logs, 18 focus groups with children (n = 95), semi-structured interviews with teachers (n = 20) and SFS coaches (n = 7), intervention evaluation questionnaires (completed by children, n = 1097; teachers, n = 50), as well direct observations (by researchers, n = 50 observations) and self-evaluations (completed by teachers, n = 125) of intervention delivery (e.g. length of sessions, implementation of activities as intended, children’s engagement and barriers). Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were applied to quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Results: Overall, SFS reached 30.8% of eligible schools, with 1073 children participating in the intervention (across 32 schools). Thirty-one schools completed the intervention in full. Thirty-three teachers (55% female) and 11 SFS coaches (82% male) attended a bespoke SFS training workshop. Disparities in intervention duration (range = 126 to 201 days), uptake (only 25% of classes received optional intervention components in full), and the extent to which core (mean fidelity score of coaching sessions = 58%) and optional components (no adaptions made = 51% of sessions) were delivered as intended, were apparent. Barriers to intervention delivery included the school setting and children’s behaviour and knowledge. SFS was viewed positively (85% and 82% of children and teachers, respectively, rated SFS five out of five) and recommendations to increase school engagement were provided. Conclusion: SFS was considered acceptable to children, teachers and coaches. Nevertheless, efforts to enhance intervention reach (at the school level), teachers’ engagement and sustainability must be considered. Variations in dose and fidelity likely reflect challenges associated with complex intervention delivery within school settings and thus a flexible design may be necessary. This study adds to the limited scientific evidence base surrounding sport-for-health interventions and their implementation, and suggests that such interventions offer a promising tool for engaging children in activities which promote their health.