LifeFirst’s treatment programmes for schools focuses on reaching out to students in order to create awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco. These programmes also aim to prevent students from transitioning from areca nut use to tobacco use and tohelp those who’re already using tobacco to quit their habit.
Smoking and other forms of tobacco use create numerous, sometimes irreversible, health risks that can seriously damage children’s well-being, even before they reach adulthood. Teenage students often experiment with tobacco, given their curiosity and high levels of peer influence. Incidence of tobacco use among teenage students can also be attributed to the availability, affordability and social acceptance of tobacco. Previous literature has cited areca nut to be a precursor to tobacco and/or gutkha use.
Awareness levels regarding the different forms and ill-effects of tobacco are abysmally low among adolescents, who are most at risk of developing this behaviour. Every 16 seconds in India, a child tries tobacco for the first time1.
No significant, note-worthy school programmes studying the effects or process of being tobacco-free have been documented. As such, schools need to commit to tobacco-free policies that are clearly and consistently communicated, applied and enforced.
What does LifeFirst offer?
- Sensitisation of the principal and teachers.
- Orientation for students, encouraging them towards voluntary registration for the service.
- Creating awareness among students about tobacco and its ill-effects.
- Interactive group counselling sessions and individual sessions, as per need.
- Behaviour modification to help students to consistently say no to tobacco, thus quitting.
- Development of life skills - for e.g. confidence building, refusal skills, etc.
- Periodic follow up.
- Monitoring and evaluation.
What will be your contribution?
- Support the implementation of services within schools. e.g. Providing space and logistical support for conducting sessions. By providing a school coordinator.
1Chandra PS, Mulla U. Areca nut: The hidden Indian 'gateway' to future tobacco use and oral cancers
among youth. Indian J Med Sci [serial online] 2007 [cited 2013 Dec 16];61:319-21
2Patel DR (1999).Smoking and children. Indian Journal of pediatrics. 66(6):817-24;[accessed online on Sept 2014]