Preventing smoking initiation in adolescents living in vulnerable socioeconomic conditions: Study protocol of the KickAsh!-intervention

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Babette Demeester, Maïté Verloigne, Sara Willems, Kenji Leta & Emelien Lauwerier

Demeester B., Verloigne M., Willems S., Leta K. & Lauwerier E. (2024) Preventing smoking initiation in adolescents living in vulnerable socioeconomic conditions: Study protocol of the KickAsh!-interventionScandinavian Journal of Public Health DOI: 10.1177/14034948241236232.


Aims: Adolescents living in vulnerable socioeconomic conditions are confronted with tobacco-related health disparities. As school-based interventions appear to be less effective among these youngsters, other approaches are necessary. One promising avenue is youth social work settings that offer sport and recreational activities (SR-settings). SR-settings have been examined as a levering context for health promotion, but evidence regarding smoking prevention is currently lacking.
Methods: This study describes the protocol of a non-randomised cluster controlled trial evaluating a smoking prevention intervention for adolescents. At least 24 SR-settings are needed for the intervention and control group. A mixed-method design will be used. Quantitative measures will be used to assess effectiveness, involving validated questionnaires on smoking initiation behaviour and influencing factors (i.e. attitude, self-efficacy, social influence and risk perception). In addition, feasibility will be assessed with regard to intervention fidelity, dose and reach. Data will be collected at baseline, three and nine months following the intervention. To gain deeper understanding on the impact and underlying processes of the intervention, we will conduct qualitative interviews with users (adolescents) and implementers (youth workers within the SR-settings) of the intervention.
Conclusions: Conducting this trial will offer novel insights into the effectiveness of a smoking prevention intervention designed for adolescents living in vulnerable socioeconomic conditions. A mixed-method design will enable to measure impact, implementation and underlying processes of the intervention. Overall, this design will enhance our understanding on the suitability of SR-settings as contexts for smoking prevention initiatives targeting hard-to-reach youth.
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Scandinavian Journal of Public Health