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An Informal School-Based Peer-Led Intervention for Smoking Prevention in Adolescence (ASSIST): A Cluster Randomised Trial

NCJ Number
Lancet Volume: 371 Issue: 9624 Dated: 10–16 May 2008 Pages: 1595-1602
Date Published
May 2008
8 pages

In this paper, the authors discuss their analysis of the effectiveness of a peer-led intervention that aimed to prevent smoking uptake in secondary schools; they lay out their methodology, findings, and a discussion of results as well as references cited.


The authors report on their undertaking of a cluster randomized controlled trial of 10 730 students aged 12–13 years in 59 schools in England and Wales. Twenty-nine schools (5372 students) were randomly assigned by stratified block randomization to the control group to continue their usual smoking education and 30 (5358 students) to the intervention group. The intervention was called ASSIST (A Stop Smoking In Schools Trial) program, and consisted of training influential students to act as peer supporters during informal interactions outside the classroom to encourage their peers not to smoke. Follow-up was immediately after the intervention and at one and two years. Primary outcomes were smoking in the past week in both the school year group and in a group at high risk of regular smoking uptake, which was identified at baseline as occasional, experimental, or ex-smokers. Analysis was by intention to treat. The results suggest that, if implemented on a population basis, the ASSIST intervention could lead to a reduction in adolescent smoking prevalence of public-health importance. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: May 1, 2008