The ASSIST (A Stop Smoking In School Trial) programme is a peer-led intervention aimed at promoting smoke-free behaviours among children aged 12-13 years. ASSIST combines a peer-led approach with the diffusion of innovation theory: it encourages the development and dissemination of new norms of smoking behaviour through the training of influential Year 8 students who work as peer supporters.
Peer supporters are trained and supported to have informal conversations with other Year 8 students about the risks of smoking and the benefits of being smoke-free.
ASSIST has been evaluated by a randomised controlled trial funded by the Medical Research Council. The trial found the ASSIST programme to be effective in reducing smoking prevalence over a two year period of follow-up, with the trial results published in The Lancet. If implemented throughout the UK, it is estimated that the ASSIST programme would prevent 20,000 young people taking up smoking each year.
Click here to find out more about the evaluation of the ASSIST programme.
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