PURPOSE: Most smokers begin smoking in their school years. Antismoking message in schools must therefore be part of a comprehensive health-care curriculum. Teachers’ opinion, participation and support play a major role for the antismoking programs to be effective. A structured antismoking program titled ‘AntE Tobacco’ developed by Dr. Guntupalli was implemented in the grade schools in Corpus Christie, Texas. We surveyed the teachers’ opinion on the ‘AntE Tobacco’ program.
METHODS: Following the survey of baseline knowledge, the children were shown a colorful cartoon video involving lovable colony of ants which depicted the ill effects of smoking. They were given a coloring book based on the video to take home. At the end of the session the teachers filled out a survey on the usefulness of the program. A total of 100 teachers were surveyed.
RESULTS: 98% of the teachers liked the program and felt that it was age appropriate. 93% thought that the program will influence the children. 99% opined that they would like to have it presented again and would recommend it to other classes. The message in the form of a story, the beautiful animation and the colorful story book (based on the movie) that the children got to take home, seemed to impress the most. Some important suggestions to improve were that the audience size is smaller and more time spent with children.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the teachers rated the ‘AntE Tobacco’ program as excellent, useful and easy to follow by the children. Their opinion was that the program will be highly effective in reinforcing the health hazards of smoking, influence the children to develop refusal skills and discourage them from ever starting smoking.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: It is important to ensure that the antismoking message is delivered in a way the children can understand and retain. A message in the form of a story on a video and comic book is one such effective way. Teachers’ and parents’ opinions are important in the development and modification of antismoking programs.
DISCLOSURE: Salim Surani, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information