In this qualitative study, we sought to assess 3 topics of interest: (1) current status of vaping and school-based prevention; (2) school personnel’s perceptions of vaping; and (3) challenges in implementing school-based vaping prevention programs.
We conducted 5 focus groups using a semi-structured interview guide during October through December 2019. School personnel (eg, principals, teachers [N = 32]) from 30 middle and high schools were recruited across diverse regions in Nebraska.
Eight themes arose from the thematic analysis in 3 topic areas. School personnel attributed student vaping to easy access, low perception of harm, addiction, and proliferation of stealthy products for concealed use. Whereas schools showed strong support for addressing youth vaping on school grounds, few schools had adopted a comprehensive e-cigarette prevention and cessation program. The top challenges to current school-based vaping prevention programs include lack of time, knowledge, and coordinated efforts. Participants also recognized the significance of parental engagement in the prevention effort.
There is a considerable variation in school policies and actions to address youth vaping. An evidence-based youth vaping program that involves schools, parents, students, and communities needs to be developed and disseminated in school settings.
A school tobacco policy (STP) commonly is used to reduce smoking among adolescents, but the effectiveness of such programs is unclear. We evaluated the impact of an STP on tobacco use in 4 schools.
The study included 4 intervention and 4 control schools, located in the inner city of Stockholm, Sweden. Schools self-selected for assignment to either an intervention program or a comparison group. In total, the study was comprised of 2671 students in grades 9 and 11, ages 15 to 18, and 1998 students (75%) responded to the questionnaire. We used a repeated cross-sectional design with assessment of tobacco use prevalence before implementation of the STP in 2016 and after 2 years under the program, in 2018.
Two years after the STP, the intervention school in grade 9 showed a lower prevalence (13.5% vs 1.6%) in the proportion of students who reported smoking (χ2 = 4.54; p < .05) whereas the proportion reporting snus use was practically unchanged. We found no statistically significant impact of the STP for grade 11.
The results are promising with regard to smoking, when the STP is implemented in early adolescence.