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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 236–243 | Cite as

Assessing the strength of secondary school tobacco policies of schools in the COMPASS study and the association to student smoking behaviours

  • Adam G. ColeEmail author
  • Sarah Aleyan
  • Wei Qian
  • Scott T. Leatherdale
Quantitative Research

Abstract

Objectives

The school environment is an ideal setting to introduce policies to prevent smoking behaviour. However, there may be variability in the strength of school board and secondary school tobacco policies, which may affect student smoking behaviours. This study assessed the strength of a sample of school board and secondary school tobacco policies and examined the association with student smoking behaviours.

Methods

Tobacco policies from school boards (n = 21/26) and secondary schools (n = 43/81) that participated in the COMPASS study during 2015–2016 were obtained online. A standardized instrument was used to assess the strength of school board and secondary school tobacco policies on four domains. Using the sample of students from schools with identified policies (n = 22,696), separate multilevel regression models examined the association between school policy scores and a student’s susceptibility to smoking, ever smoking, current smoking, and perceived support of the school environment.

Results

The mean school board tobacco policy score was 13.7/40 and the mean secondary school tobacco policy score was 11.3/40. Students were significantly less likely to report current smoking (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91–0.99) and more likely to report a supportive school environment (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.04–1.08) with each four-unit (i.e., 10%) increase in school tobacco policy score.

Conclusions

The vast majority of school board and secondary school tobacco policies were missing components and therefore could not be considered comprehensive. Stronger school tobacco policies may help to reduce student current smoking behaviours.

Keywords

School health promotion Adolescent Cigarette smoking School tobacco policy 

Résumé

Objectifs

Le milieu scolaire est l’endroit idéal où introduire des politiques de prévention du tabagisme. Les effets des politiques des conseils scolaires et des écoles secondaires sur le tabagisme des élèves peuvent toutefois varier selon la rigueur de ces politiques. Nous avons évalué la rigueur des politiques antitabac d’un échantillon de conseils scolaires et d’écoles secondaires et examiné son association avec le tabagisme des élèves.

Méthode

Les politiques antitabac des conseils scolaires (n = 21/26) et des écoles secondaires (n = 43/81) ayant participé à l’étude COMPASS en 2015–2016 ont été obtenues en ligne. À l’aide d’un instrument standardisé, nous avons évalué la rigueur de ces politiques dans quatre domaines. Dans notre échantillon d’élèves fréquentant les écoles ayant des politiques antitabac (n = 22,696), nous avons utilisé des modèles distincts de régression multiniveau pour examiner l’association entre la note attribuée à la politique scolaire et la susceptibilité de fumer d’un élève, son tabagisme passé, son tabagisme actuel et le soutien perçu du milieu scolaire.

Résultats

La note moyenne attribuée aux politiques antitabac des conseils scolaires était de 13,7/40, et la note moyenne attribuée aux politiques antitabac des écoles secondaires était de 11,3/40. Pour chaque hausse de quatre unités (c.-à-d. 10 %) de la note attribuée à une politique scolaire antitabac, les élèves étaient significativement moins susceptibles de dire fumer actuellement (RC 0,95, IC de 95% 0,91-0,99) et plus susceptibles de se dire soutenus par le milieu scolaire (RC 1,06, IC de 95% 1,04-1,08).

Conclusions

La très grande majorité des politiques antitabac des conseils scolaires et des écoles secondaires ont été jugées incomplètes; il leur manquait des éléments. Des politiques scolaires antitabac plus rigoureuses pourraient contribuer à réduire le tabagisme actuel des élèves.

Mots-clés

Santé scolaire Adolescent Consommation de cigarettes Politiques scolaires antitabac 

Notes

Funding information

This work was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award—Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (GSD-140312; to AGC). The original COMPASS study (2012-2015) was supported by a bridge grant from CIHR (OOP-110788; to STL) and an operating grant from CIHR (MOP-114875; to STL). Renewal of the COMPASS study (2016-2021) is funded by an operating grant from CIHR (PJT-148562; to SLT). The expansion of COMPASS to new jurisdictions is funded by a project grant from the Substance Use and Addictions Program at Health Canada (CA-1617-HQ-000012; to STL). STL is a Chair in Applied Public Health funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in partnership with CIHR.

The funding sources had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Moores Cancer CenterUniversity of California, San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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