Implementation of the Uttarakhand Tobacco Free Initiative in Schools, India, 2016
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Implementation of the Uttarakhand Tobacco Free Initiative in Schools, India, 2016

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  • English

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      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:
      Purpose and Objectives

      A process evaluation, the Uttarakhand Tobacco Free Initiative (UTFI), was conducted in 49 public high schools and colleges in the state of Uttarakhand, India, to measure program implementation, provide feedback to school administrators, and identify barriers to tobacco control.

      Intervention Approach

      UTFI aims to 1) raise awareness and provide education and tools for teachers and school administrators about the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, 2) encourage participation in student-led activities to promote tobacco-free initiatives, and 3) enforce tobacco-free school policies in the state of Uttarakhand.

      Evaluation Methods

      We used the CDC evaluation framework to document key components and lessons learned from the UTFI. We distributed questionnaires to 71 teachers and principals in December 2016, to assess awareness of school activities and policies related to the initiative. Descriptive statistics were computed for quantitative data, and a thematic content analysis was used for qualitative data.


      Of the 71 participants, 66 (92.9%) were aware of tobacco use policies in schools, and 63 (88.7%) agreed policies were enforced. Sixty-six participants (93.0%) said that they taught tobacco prevention-related topics, and 41 of 70 respondents (58.6%) reported that a student-led group helped to enforce tobacco-free policies in their schools. Of 69 respondents, almost all (n = 66) reported satisfaction with UTFI implementation. Challenges identified were related to tobacco products being readily accessible near school premises, lack of tobacco prevention materials, and tobacco use by school staff.

      Implications for Public Health

      Successes of UTFI were documented by measuring different components of the process, including implementation of program activities and teacher and principal satisfaction. Results might help enhance key processes for the initiative and highlight some barriers to implementation, such as enforcing tobacco control policy off school premises. Continued efforts are needed to prevent tobacco use among young people.

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