Meta-analysis on the effects of the smoke-free class competition on smoking prevention in adolescents

Eur Addict Res. 2012;18(3):110-5. doi: 10.1159/000335085. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


Background: The 'Smoke-Free Class competition' (SFC) is a school-based smoking prevention programme including commitment not to smoke, contract management and prizes as rewards broadly implemented in Europe.

Objectives: To meta-analyse (randomised) controlled trials on the effects of SFC on current smoking at latest follow-up in adolescents.

Methods: A systematic review of articles using MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library was conducted. The study selection included randomised controlled trials and controlled trials with follow-up assessment that investigated the efficacy of SFC on current smoking in students participating in SFC compared to non-participating students. Independent extraction of articles was performed by both authors.

Results: Of 24 records identified, five fulfilled the inclusion criteria. These studies were conducted in three European countries (Finland, The Netherlands and Germany) and recruited 16,302 students altogether. A random effects meta-analysis of these five studies revealed a pooled risk ratio of 0.86 (95% CI 0.79-0.94; z = 3.44, p = 0.001) on current smoking at follow-up by participation in the competition.

Conclusion: SFC appears to be an effective tool in school-based smoking prevention.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • School Health Services*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Students*