Purpose: The purpose of this article is to describe the diffusion and evaluation of the smoking prevention programme "Be Smart--Don't Start", the German "Smoke Free Class Competition".
Method: The diffusion is described by means of numbers of participating classes and a representative population-based interview of 3,600 12-19-year-olds, which was conducted in 2005. Two controlled and two randomised controlled studies carried out in three countries (Germany, Finland and the Netherlands) with a total number of 12,812 adolescents (N of the intervention group: 8,086; N of the control group: 4,726) have been realised to evaluate the intervention.
Results: In 2005 20% of all 12-15 year-olds and 9% of all 16-19-year-olds living in Germany had participated in the programme. From baseline to follow-up test 12-24 months later smoking increased by 21.78 per cent points in the control group, compared to an increase of 16.02 per cent points in the intervention group. At follow-up 27.57% of the pupils from the intervention group, and 35.91% of the pupils from the control group are actual smokers (odds ratio=0.65, 95% confidence interval: 0.57-0.74).
Conclusions: Participating rate in the competition is high. The results indicate that the competition might have a short-term effect and be able to delay the onset of smoking.