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Education Against Tobacco (EAT): a quasi-experimental prospective evaluation of a programme for preventing smoking in secondary schools delivered by medical students: a study protocol
  1. Titus J Brinker1,
  2. Sabine Stamm-Balderjahn2,
  3. Werner Seeger3,
  4. David A Groneberg1
  1. 1Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Medical Sociology, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  3. 3University of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC), Max-Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research Bad Nauheim/Giessen, member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Germany
  1. Correspondence to Titus J Brinker; titus.brinker{at}


Introduction A survey conducted by the German Federal Centre for Health Education in 2012 showed that 35.2% of all young adults (18–25 years) and 12.0% of all adolescents (12–17 years) in Germany are regular cigarette smokers. Most smoked their first cigarette in early adolescence. We recently reported a significantly positive short-term effect of a physician-delivered school-based smoking prevention programme on the smoking behaviour of schoolchildren in Germany. However, physician-based programmes are usually very expensive. Therefore, we will evaluate and optimise Education against Tobacco (EAT), a widespread, low-cost programme delivered by about 400 medical students from 16 universities in Germany.

Methods and analysis A prospective quasi-experimental study design with two measurements at baseline (t1) and 6 months post-intervention (t2) to investigate an intervention in 10–15-year-olds in grades 6–8 at German secondary schools. The intervention programme consists of two 60-min school-based medical-student-delivered modules with (module 1) and without the involvement of patients with tobacco-related diseases and control groups (no intervention). The study questionnaire measuring smoking status (water pipe and cigarette smoking), smoking-related cognitions, and gender, social and cultural aspects was designed and pre-tested in advance. The primary end point is the prevalence of smokers and non-smokers in the two study arms at 6 months after the intervention. The percentage of former smokers and new smokers in the two groups and the measures of smoking behaviour will be studied as secondary outcome measures.

Ethics and dissemination In accordance with Good Epidemiologic Practice (GEP) guidelines, the study protocol was submitted for approval by the responsible ethics committee, which decided that the study does not need ethical approval (Goethe University, Frankfurt-Main, Germany). Findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals, at conferences, within our scientific advisory board and through medical students within the EAT project.

  • smoking prevention
  • schools
  • tobacco prevention
  • medical students
  • adolescent smoking
  • school-based prevention

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