INTRODUCTION School-based tobacco control programs exhibit great variety. Our study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an experiential learning smoking prevention program in facilitating knowledge acquisition, forging healthy attitudes, and decreasing intention to smoke. METHODS A school-based intervention-control study was implemented during the 2016-2017 academic year among middle-school students in Athens, Greece. The experiential learning intervention was delivered using an interdisciplinary approach, bridging excerpts from ancient classical Greek myths, Aesop fables and ancient classical literature (Aristotle, Herodotus, Plutarch, Xenophon, Homer's Epics), with their decoded archetypal symbols applied in a smoking and tobacco control paradigm. An anonymous selfadministered questionnaire was used at baseline and at follow-up at 3 months to evaluate program effectiveness. RESULTS A total of 351 students participated in our study; 181 (51.6%) in the intervention group and 170 (48.4%) in the control group. The mean age of student participants was 13 years (SD=0.96). Students in the intervention group were more likely to improve their knowledge of the adverse effects of smoking, develop attitudes against smoking and report a negative intention to smoke in the first year following the intervention, compared to the control group. CONCLUSIONS This study provides evidence that school-based experiential learning smoking prevention programs improve smoking-related knowledge, enhance anti-smoking attitudes and reinforce negative intentions toward tobacco products.
- Experiential learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health