CIEC Researcher presents a "Anti-Smoking Vaccine"
Protocol Signature between UMINHO and Municipalities. From left to right, António Vilela, mayor of Vila Verde; Rui Vieira de Castro, UMINHO Vice-Rector; Ricardo Rio, mayor of Braga; José Precioso, CIEC researcher.
The creation of an "Anti-Smoking vaccine" is an highest peak in the work of the CIEC researcher José Precioso in the last fifteen years. The target public are children and young people, through three "vaccine doses" to be applied in different stages of their growth: the first one, named "Tobacco-free homes", in children of the 4thgrade; a first reinforcement, the "Smoke Out I", in the 6thgrade; and a last dose to be ministered to students of the 9th grade. The "anti-smoking vaccines" are, therefore, educational programmes that aim, through health education, develop in students resistance against factors that can lead them to become smokers. At present time, the programme is being applied to students of primary education of Braga and Vila Verde towns.
The problematic itself is well-know and there are very undesirable numbers, both nationally and internationally: a study conducted by José Precioso team, in 2010, disclosed by the Portuguese health authorities ("Direção-Geral da Saúde"), revealed that a third of Portuguese children are exposed to second-hand smoke, both at home or in the car. At international level, a report of 2011 from the World Health Organization (WHO) points out to 600 thousand deaths each year due to passive exposition to tobacco smoke, 28% of them, children. Considering the future victims and the loss in quality of life of several early smokers, it is crucial to attack frontally this problem related to this avoidable behaviour. An experiment presented to students
The programme "Tobacco-free homes" aims to promote the prevention of smoking and second-hand smoke, both at home and in cars, through the children themselves to sensitize their families to do not smoke in those close spaces. This programme was developed under the project "Prevention of children's exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke at Home". In the programme evaluation more than 800 children were involved. A year later, it was found that about 20% of smoker parents quit smoking. Half of them do not smoke anymore inside home or in the car, contributing to the air quality improvement around children.
The vaccine "reinforcements", i.e. Smoke Out I and II are composed of 6 to 15 sessions during a school year and more than 600 children of the 9th grade took part in it. After the program application, for example, there was an expressive fall among male regular smokers, which prevalence fall down from 10% of the sample to 4%, after they were "inoculated". The "Anti-smoking Vaccine" programme is rooted in similar plans developed in years 2000, and is especially addressed to girls. This because a greater prevalence in tobacco consumption was detected in this group during the project "Smoking Determinants by Gender: Implications for the Creation of Smoke Free Generation", a project that had financial support from the "Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia - FCT" (Foundation for Science and technology).
SmokeOut I session with youngsters at school
In consequence of these research projects outputs, a protocol between Braga and Vila Verde City Municipalities was signed. The protocol aims to guarantee the involvement of both municipalities in the production of pedagogical materials required to the application of the "Anti-Smoking Vaccine" programme to all public schools 4th grade classes of both towns.
Precioso has been extending his work to several other initiatives against addictive behaviours in young people, such as participating in public opinion broadcast programs, writing opinion articles in newspapers or heading a petition directed to the national Ministry of Education, targeting to ban smoking in cars carrying children, a position that he has been defending for a long time. His dedication to this cause came from a very earlier time, dating from the 90's his first steps, during his Master course. Another important milestone happened in 2001, when he became one of the founding partners of the "Association for Smoking Prevention of Braga", nowadays known as "Portuguese Confederation for the Smoking Prevention". This association works towards society awareness to tobacco addiction and has originated a Regional prevention plan, awarded by the "Portuguese Society of Pulmonology", that would later inspire the current "National Prevention and Control Plan against Tobacco Addiction".
José Precioso presenting the program at Vila Verde
* Some research products:
Precioso J, Reis F, Sousa I, Sousa C, Machado J, Dias L, Samorinha C, Antunes H. (2016).
Opinions on a car smoking ban: a needed guide for public health decision-makers. Gaceta Sanitaria 2016; 30(1):86-7
Brito I, Precioso J, Correia C, Albuquerque C, Samorinha C, Cunha-Filho H, Becoña E. (2016).
Fatores associados ao consumo de álcool na adolescência, em função do género. Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças, 2015, 16(3), 392-410
Vitória, Paulo; Machado, José Cunha; Araújo, Ana; Ravara, Sofia; Samorinha, Catarina; Antunes, Henedina; Rosas, Manuel; Becoña, Elisardo; Precioso, José (2015).
Children's exposure to tobacco smoke pollution at home by region: A cross-sectional study. Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia, Vol. 21, nº 4 , pp. 178-184. (ISSN: 0873-2159;)
Paulo D. Vitória, José Cunha Machado, Sofia B. Ravara, Ana Carolina Araújo, Catarina Samorinha, Henedina Antunes, Manuel Rosas, Elisardo Becoña, José Precioso (2015).
Portuguese children's exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke in the family car. Gaceta Sanitaria, Volume 29, Issue 2, March–April 2015, Pages 131-134
Some news about it in CIEC Blog:
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