In Hungary more effective and professionally well developed smoking prevention programs are implemented as a package of tools for improvement of the smoking situation. These programs should be available by target groups as widely as possible!
Smoking prevention program in kindergartens (SPPK) of the Focal Point for Tobacco Control (FPTC), National Institute for Health Development (NIHD)
Till today in Hungary the first and the most notable smoking prevention program for kindergarteners is the Smoking Prevention Program in Kindergartens of the FPTC NIHD which is effective according to the impact assessment supported by the European Regional Office of WHO.
The aim of the program is the protection of health of the pre-school aged children. The main tasks are the following: the detection of the previous knowledge regarding smoking, information dissemination duly the characteristic of the age group, attitude changing regarding healthy behavior, and development of active appearance against second hand smoking.
The intervention is not only reduces or prevents smoking of children, but also can impact on adults smoking behavior by a secondary effect. Thus the exposure of secondhand smoking of children can be reduced. During the implementation of SPPK of NIHD range of prevention tools are available. E.g. a tale written for this program (Istvan Csukas: Four lives of Csiszta Squirrel), which includes terminologies to make understood the actual topics of the program. The program manual, smoke suction pump, headband puppet figures, cherry transfer picture and puzzle ease the implementation of the program for the kindergarten teachers and make the process of playful learning more interesting for kids.
Smoking prevention program in kindergarten has more topics which are the following: perception, personality, health state, and smoking.
All kindergartens could be involved into the program free of charge. Till today the program reached more than 1600 kindergartens, which number currently means the 50% of the Hungarian kindergartens. It was an important historic moment regarding dissemination, that the program was reviewed by substantive specialists in 1998 and got into the database of the Centre of Program and Curriculum Development, Institute of National Education, thus the implementation of the program is nominated by the Ministry of Education.
The impact assessment of the program underlines that attitude changing for rejection of smoking, knowledge increasing regarding harmful effects of smoking, and skill of active action against passive smoking develops in children.
“Smoking is Sticky” school based smoking prevention program of the Focal Point for Tobacco Control NIHD
For support the long-term effectiveness of the kindergarten smoking prevention program, the FPTC NIHD developed the Smoking is Sticky smoking prevention program in more steps. By taking into consideration the interest of children the program tries to focus their attention to healthy lifestyle and change their attitude by game software, portable touch screen computer (PTSC), and a homepage for smoking prevention (www.cikiacigi.hu). Beside written information there can be find games supporting quit smoking, pictures presenting harmful effects of smoking, short films and animations.
In 2009 a syllabus and a package of tools for 3-5 and 6-10-grade children have been established to be involved into the curriculum. The program elaborates important topics such as history of smoking, decisions and choices regarding healthy lifestyle, social influence, diseases caused by smoking, harmful effects of passive smoking, addiction, environmental and economic effects, ingredients of cigarette, and advantages of non-smoking lifestyle. Package of tools contains an interactive presentation with 100 slides, movie parts and a lifelike sized, knockdown demonstration puppet presenting diseases caused by smoking.
By the help of the exciting tools, the program successfully attracts children’s attention and interest. It develops the negative attitude against smoking and increases the knowledge about harmful effects of smoking. The program provides good opportunity for development of healthy lifestyle of children.
The effectiveness of the program is underlined by a focal group test in 2009.
Smoking Prevention Program of National Network for Healthier Kindergartens
The aim of the Smoking Prevention Program of National Network for Healthier Kindergartens is the introduction of smoke-free behaviour education into the curriculum.
This kindergarten educational program is bidirectional: targeting children and adults (teachers, parents).
Education against smoking doesn’t mean a separate action program in the every day kindergarten practice. It is integral to the daily planned, continuous, education, physical activity programs and the model provision of educational community in kindergartens. An additional aim is the request for the support and mediation of smoke-free behavior of parents. Smoking prevention topics and medicinal information should be involved into the everyday meeting and consultations with parents, events in kindergartens (opening and finishing ceremony of educational year), trips and sport events. Meetings of children with non-smoker adults (sport men) should be organized to make the smoke-free lifestyle beloved and socially attractive. The National Network for Healthier Kindergartens made a methodological manual to ease the development of local health promotion and protection programs (“Alternative programs for smoke-free behavior education in kindergartens. 2002.”)
Peer education model program of Semmelweis University (SOTE)
The main point of the program to educate voluntary medical students on a peer-education active training. This medical students later organize three-day trainings (36 hours) for secondary schools by the help of Health Protection Departments of the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (NPHMOS) and the School Health Service.
The training starts with introduction, program review, and “icebreaker” games and continues with demonstration smoking related information.
Medical students show the immediate and short term harmful effects of smoking for the young and growing humans and the psychological addiction. Participants get to know the most important epidemiological data, different types of smoking, motivation to make smoking a practice. Of course methods of quitting smoking are also mentioned with the advantages and difficulties. There is a big emphasis on the help of the community and “peer pressure”.
Participants get homework as well which could be a report on smoking, poster against smoking, poem and novel. Students get alternative ideas to spend the spare-time gainful, e.g. sport, arts. The training ending with program review, construction of training frame and test. After the training, participants take oral and writing exams and they get certificate for peer-education in their schools in case of success. Currently there are around 3,5-4 000 peer-educator in Hungary. Methodology of this program could be proposed as best practice based on scientific evidences.
Program of health visitors
Health visitors have serious role in supporting smoke-free lifestyle. 50-hour refresher course (named”Prevention and quitting support or ”What can home visitors can do for smoke-free lifestyle”) is organized regularly. During the course evidence based information is reviewed. Participants get to know the methodology of minimal intervention, health effects of smoking and steps leading to non-smoking. They learn how addiction could be prevented and can change the smoking lifestyle. Participants do communication exercises concerning smoking prevention and quitting support. They take part on field-works and they discuss their experiences with experts. They work in groups and write case studies. The course finishes with review, evaluation and exam.
The participant health visitors are enabled to support families in smoke-free lifestyle, apply theoretical and practical knowledge on support in quitting, and change viewpoints in individual and grouped health education. They get up-to-date knowledge about the relation of reproductive processes and smoking. Health visitors understand the main point of health promotion and the importance of their professional role in the quitting program. They learn how to change their own lifestyles and get information on available resources, and communication skills will be developed. New experiences could be used in practice. Practical program currently is implemented in 6. grade.
Regional and local offices of the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (NPHMOS)
Regional and local offices of the NPHMOS are also take part in smoking prevention activities. They organize the presentations of organs, ”Smoke-free class program” and travelling exhibitions. The aim of the presentation of organs to introduce the harmful effects of smoking, support of quitting and prevention of addiction. The target group is the 13-18-year olds. During the interactive presentation smoking and alcohol related mutations of organs are introduced in comparison with healthy human organs in formalin.
The aim of the ”Smoke-free class” is the support and enhancement of smoke-free behaviour, and facilitation of quitting among smoking children, and prevention of regular smoking. The target group of the program is the children in 7-8 grades. Participant classes undertake that nobody smoke during the program. Experts of the local offices contacted the involved classes and organized explanation discussions, presentations, and control with CO measurement.
The exact tasks of the program: cross-word puzzle, calculation of expenses of smoking, making montage, Power Point presentation of the harmful effects of smoking and passive smoking, interview with a local decision maker or a member of parliament about smoking and it’s social and environmental consequences, written document (essay, poem, novel, tale, play…), which is convenient to persuade 13-17 year olds about the advantages of avoidance smoking.
In the travelling exhibition experts of the local office of the NPHMOS measured CO level, introduced methods of quitting, provided advices and guidelines for quitting support to participants. They emphasized the harmful effects of smoking.
„HELP- for smoke-free life”
Coping with smoking is one of the main public health aims of the EU. The international HELP campaign -running for years- forms youth’s opinion about smoking and passive smoking and motivate smokers for quitting. Campaign principally provides positive messages for youth. “Smoking doesn’t worth” is the message of the campaign for non-smokers. The campaign informs smokers about the availability of quitting support which is worth to be used. “Nobody has to suffer from passive smoking against his/her will” is the message about passive smoking.