Teen peer pressure is not too bad after all, it fights smoking too.
An experimental campaign against teen smoking could actually put traditional antismoking posters, ads and comic strips in history because they are nowhere as effective as peer pressure in making cigarettes unfashionable.
The test covered 59 schools in England and Wales, with 11,000 students aging 12 to 13, and was carried out in four phases. Half of the schools were asked to do the experiment known as ASSIST while the other half were asked to carry out the traditional campaigns, thus providing a comparison.
Influential students in their year group nominated by their peers were invited to recruitment meeting with the researchers, were explained the roles of a “peer supporter” and took part in a training where they learned the risks of smoking and the economic benefits of stopping. The students also developed skills in conflict negotiation and resolution, communication and understanding self-esteem.
For about 10 weeks, the “peer supporters” interacted with their year groups, conversing with others about the benefits of not smoking. Compared to the traditional group, students under the ASSIST program were 25 percent less likely to take up regular smoking after the intervention. However, the success rate gradually declined over time, with a reduction to 15 percent after two years.
Peer pressure measure was popular among pupils and staffs-they presented a shift in thinking when dealing against smoking. Well, judging by the cessation rate of smoking youngsters, it could be said that peer pressure is not too bad, after all.