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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A qualitative evaluation of a novel intervention using insight into tobacco industry tactics to prevent the uptake of smoking in school-aged children
Author(s): Taylor, John
Taylor, Amy
Lewis, Sarah
McNeill, Ann
Britton, John
Jones, Laura L
Bauld, Linda
Parrott, Steve
Wu, Qi
Szatkowski, Lisa
Bains, Manpreet
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Keywords: Smoking prevention
Health education
Tobacco industry
Issue Date: 11-Jul-2016
Date Deposited: 12-Aug-2016
Citation: Taylor J, Taylor A, Lewis S, McNeill A, Britton J, Jones LL, Bauld L, Parrott S, Wu Q, Szatkowski L & Bains M (2016) A qualitative evaluation of a novel intervention using insight into tobacco industry tactics to prevent the uptake of smoking in school-aged children. BMC Public Health, 16, Art. No.: 539.
Abstract: Background  Evidence from the US Truth campaign suggests that interventions focusing on tobacco industry tactics can be effective in preventing smoking uptake by children. Operation Smoke Storm is the first school-based intervention based on this premise and comprises three classroom sessions in which students act as secret agents uncovering tobacco industry tactics through videos, quizzes, discussions, and presentations. We report a qualitative evaluation of its acceptability.  Methods  We conducted eight focus groups with 79 students aged 11-12 who participated in Operation Smoke Storm at two UK schools in Autumn 2013, and 20 interviews with teachers who delivered the intervention. These were digitally audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the framework method.  Results  Students enjoyed the secret agent scenario and reported acquiring new knowledge about smoking and the tobacco industry, which seemed to strengthen their aversion to smoking. Teachers felt confident delivering the ‘off the shelf’ resource, although they would have welcomed more background information about the topic and guidance on steering discussions. Teachers highlighted a need for the resource to be flexible and not dependent on lesson length, teacher confidence, or expertise. Students and teachers endorsed the idea of developing a booster component for older students and supported the development of printed information complementing the resource to encourage parents to support their child not to smoke.  Conclusions  These findings demonstrate that Operation Smoke Storm can be delivered by teachers to raise awareness about smoking-related issues. The ideas and issues raised are now being used to improve and extend the resource for further evaluation.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-016-3205-8
Rights: © The Author(s). 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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