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Reducing Smoking in Vocational Schools

In vocational education, 37% are daily smokers and 20% are smoking occasionally. Most vocational schools have smoking policies, but the content of the smoking policies varies and furthermore smoking policies are most effective when enforced. At present there is no national legislation that can prevent smoking for students in vocational schools. In addition, we lack knowledge about effective smoking cessation efforts that are appropriate in the vocational school context. A Danish intervention project "Shaping the Social" shows that vocational schools that make a special effort to strengthen the social relations among students can prevent students who smoke occasionally to start smoking daily. However, the intervention had no effect on smoking cessation. There is a need to develop and test another form of social influence on the smoking culture, with focus on smoking prevention and smoking cessation. 


The aim is to develop, implement and evaluate a dual strategy for smoking prevention and smoking cessation in order to reduce school-level smoking rates among students in basic courses in vocational schools.


We will conduct an ethnographic study (i.e. observations and interviews) with managers, teachers and students at vocational schools to investigate the smoking policies and the smoking culture. In addition, we will involve municipalities, patient associations and other key persons as well as review the literature. Subsequently, we will develop a dual strategy in close cooperation with management, teachers and supervisors. We will conduct a pilot test of the intervention in a few classes. In the implementation phase, we will recruit classes to evaluate the intervention on a large scale. We will make a qualitative process evaluation and a quantitative effect evaluation.

Project period

Development phase: January 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.
Implementation and evaluation phase: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020.


The Danish Cancer Society.

Last Updated 19.10.2023