More support needed: Evaluating the impact of school e-cigarette prevention and cessation programs on e-cigarette initiation among a sample of Canadian secondary school students
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Given the recent increase in e-cigarette use among adolescents, there is a need to further explore how school programs are associated with e-cigarette initiation. The objective of this quasi-experimental study was to evaluate the impact of multiple school-based e-cigarette prevention and cessation programs on e-cigarette initiation among Canadian adolescents. This study used data from Year 6 (2017/18) and Year 7 (2018/19) of the COMPASS study in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, Canada. Students in grades 9 to 11 who had never tried e-cigarettes at baseline were included (n = 13,269). Schools (n = 88) reported whether they added programming that addressed e-cigarette or tobacco prevention or cessation. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify how added programs were associated with e-cigarette initiation at follow-up. At one-year follow-up (2018/19), 23% of schools added programs. Our evaluation results suggest that none of the activities taken by schools to prevent or reduce vaping among students significantly prevented vaping onset. In fact, female students at schools that reported adding a theme week had higher odds of e-cigarette initiation (OR 1.68 [95% CI 1.31–2.16]) and male students at schools that reported a cessation program had higher odds of e-cigarette initiation (OR 1.20 [95% CI 1.01–1.44]). These results suggest that schools may not know how to address e-cigarette use and that there can be risks to students if programs are not carefully implemented. Results point to the need for additional support to ensure that schools are taking evidence-based approaches that support all students.
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Gillian C. Williams, Adam G. Cole, Margaret de Groh, Ying Jiang, Scott T. Leatherdale (2022). More support needed: Evaluating the impact of school e-cigarette prevention and cessation programs on e-cigarette initiation among a sample of Canadian secondary school students. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18031
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