Quality statement 1: Schools and colleges: interventions

Quality statement

Schools and colleges deliver combined interventions to stop children and young people taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

Rationale

Schools and colleges have an important role in helping children and young people to understand the harm associated with tobacco products. Most schools and colleges have already implemented smokefree policies, and teaching about tobacco use and its impact is part of the curriculum. However, children and young people still face substantial pressures to start smoking from their peers, family members, the media and the tobacco industry. Combined interventions to improve social competence and to make students aware of the social influences that support smoking are effective in preventing children and young people from taking up smoking.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of arrangements within local schools and colleges to deliver combined interventions to stop children and young people taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of schools and colleges that deliver combined interventions to stop children and young people taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

Numerator – the number in the denominator that deliver combined interventions to stop children and young people taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

Denominator – the number of schools and colleges in a specified geographic area.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Proportion of children and young people who receive combined interventions to stop them taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive combined interventions to stop them taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

Denominator – the number of children and young people in schools and colleges in a specified geographic area.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

Proportion of children and young people who have tried smoking at least once.

Data source: Statistics on smoking, England 2014 covers the national prevalence of smoking among young people aged 16–19 and secondary school students (mostly aged 11–15).

What the quality statement means for schools and colleges

Schools and colleges deliver combined interventions to stop children and young people taking up smoking by improving their social competence and awareness of social influences.

What the quality statement means for children and young people

Children and young people take part in programmes at their school or college that help them to refuse offers of tobacco products by improving their self‑esteem, how they cope with stress, and general social and assertive skills.

Source guidance

Smoking prevention in schools (2010) NICE guideline PH23, recommendations 2 and 3

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Schools and colleges

In this quality standard schools and colleges include:

  • maintained and independent primary, secondary and special schools

  • city technology colleges and academies

  • pupil referral units, secure training and local authority secure units

  • further education colleges

  • 'extended schools' where childcare or informal education is provided outside school hours.

[NICE guideline PH23]

Social competence interventions

A group of interventions that aim to help children and young people refuse offers to smoke by improving their general social competence. Programmes benefit from including social learning processes or life skills such as:

  • problem‑solving and decision‑making

  • cognitive skills for resisting interpersonal or media influences

  • increased self‑control and self‑esteem

  • coping strategies for stress

  • general social and assertive skills.

These interventions can be peer‑led or adult‑led and can have tobacco products as a focus or be more general.

[Cochrane review and expert opinion]

Social influences interventions

Interventions that aim to increase awareness of social influences that promote tobacco use and help students overcome these influences. Programmes adopt resistance skills training in which students are taught how to:

  • deal with peer pressure

  • deal with high‑risk situations

  • effectively refuse direct and indirect attempts to persuade them to use tobacco products.

[Cochrane review and expert opinion]

Equality and diversity considerations

Smoking rates are higher among those excluded from school and they will not be able to benefit from these interventions. Other activities carried out locally should address the needs of this group.