Effects of Smoking Ban on Students Research Proposal

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¶ … Smoking Ban on Students

The implementation of tobacco-free environments in school is now a common trend in most parts of the world and this follows a recommendation by the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 1994). This recommendation was one of the tools that was aimed at controlling smoking among the youths thus it was a strategy that targeted the youths and included the prohibition of smoking within the school premises or property including at events that involved schools even when taking place away from the school (CDC, 1994). It not only restricted students but also school personnel and visitors were included in this bracket provided they were within the restricted zones and events. This policy has however been defined differently from one region to another, either way the above elements must be addressed and included in the definition (Small et al., 2001).

Research question

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It is a common practice that before any policy is recommended or implemented substantial evidence must be provided to show that it is really significant and will meet the intended goals not forgetting to mention the effects that it may have on the targeted group and the community at large. Such issues have always led to many questions being asked most of which can only be answered through research or related studies. The smoking ban is one of such issues and has always faced a number of criticisms and support in almost equal proportion since it is an issue that touches the daily lives of many. The fact people are free to smoke anywhere and at anytime greatly affects the life of non-smokers negatively while is enjoyed by smokers; conversely, smoking restrictions is good news to non-smokers but bad news to smokers thus such policies need appropriate and in-depth analysis before they are implemented.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Effects of Smoking Ban on Students Assignment

The main aim of this research will be to find out the relationship between the smoking ban and the academic performance of students and to help in this the following question will be answered; is school smoking bans helpful or harmful to students? This will then lead to other sub-questions which include; is there a relationship between smoking bans and smoking prevalence among students? Does school smoking bans relate to the academic achievement of students? What is the best strategy to ban smoking in schools? Does the socioeconomic status of the students have an effect on the outcome of smoking ban policy?

Hypotheses statement

Those supporting smoking-free school policies argue that students are directly affected by the smoking of those individuals who they view as their role models in the community and these include not only adults but also fellow youths who are always around them. Their attitudes and development of interest are based on the manner in which people around them handle smoking and how they talk about it and most of the times they will tend to emulate them. There is experimental evidence that have been put forward with regard to this which indicates that most students tend to imitate other youths who smoke within school property sooner or later. With regard to this then it is right to state that schools having smoking bans should register low smoking rates among the students both within and outside school.

Given that it is not easy to tell exactly what percentage of success of non-smoking amount students is attributed to smoking bans, there have been mixed evidence with regard to the effectiveness of smoking bans. In order to end this argument then there should be a way of proving that smoking bans have actually discouraged the youths from smoking or involving in smoking related activities. A number of studies have been carried out to find this and a few have come out with the conclusion that there is a relationship between smoking bans and reduced smoking among students and further stressing that this greatly relied on the manner in which such a policy is enforced. Conversely, other studies did not successfully demonstrate the link that exists between smoking prevalence in schools and smoking ban policy in schools. The differences that appear in these are studies are due to several factors such as the variations in the strategies of implementing and enforcing the policy, the intention behind such policy, and the extent of coverage in terms of population and length of time. In addition to these it has been found that there are great variations in the sanctions imposed on violators and the level of their enforcement, this is evident both within and outside a single authority. The following hypotheses were thus put forward:

All the students who said that their schools had not adopted the school smoking ban policies, or those who were not aware of the existence of such policies would be highly exposed to the risk of smoking initiation when compared to their fellows who were in schools where the policy was embraced and the students were aware of its existence notwithstanding the rates of smoking.

Students who were in schools with rules on smoking would appreciate the significance of having protective mechanisms on smoking initiation as compared to students from schools that do not have such rules. This implies that smoking ban would impact positively on the students in terms of attitude which would translate to reduced smoking rates among the youth.

The socioeconomic status of the students would be of great influence to the results without considering the availability of the smoking ban policy in schools.

Scope of the research

This research aims at adopting a population health framework of adolescent smoking as this is viewed to be the perfect population given the objective of the research. With reference to the work of Leatherdale and others (2005), a theory was formulated stating that there is a direct connection between the smoking of youth within the school premises and the subsequent smoking of other students. This theory echoes the sentiments expressed by the "contagion model of adolescent substance use" which indicate that substance use among adolescents is highly caused by one-on-one interaction and also those expressed by other studies.

This research intends to apply the multi-level analytical analysis techniques to assist in testing for the impact that smoking ban has on smoking instigation, these techniques will be used to examine both school-level and individual factors concurrently. The research will also focus on alienation and school drop-out through the use of academic performance which will act as an alternative indicator of the former and as a forerunner to the latter leading to a hypothesis relating the academic performance and existence of rules against smoking in schools. The hypothesis is that the academic performance of students in schools having rules on smoking or smoking bans will be better compared the academic performance of the students in schools that do not have such rules or policies. This also includes awareness of the students in such schools of the existence of such rules or policies. It will also be necessary to formulate multi-level models having in mind the guidelines given by Aveyard et al. (2004) which advise on the application of individual -- level features over-controlling. In these guidelines they argue that it is not in order to control for individual level characteristics in a case where the multi-level studies are school-based this is because such features are linked both to the individual and the school environment.

The research intends to base on students in different regions, such as different provinces, and use a sample design which is single-stage. In this sample design classes are randomly selected and the stratification is done according to grade and school district and tries to incorporate all students who are present on the day of the study. Before carrying out the research though, it will be important to get consent from the parents of such students which follow the requirements put forward by the respective heath and education departments. In order to collect adequate information, the study will use questionnaires comprising several items; these items will seek to find information regarding school rules, smoking and substance use, mental health, and social and demographic characteristics. To ensure that the information collected will be reliable and valid, a very wide population of students will be covered and the respondents will be accorded anonymity unless otherwise they do not need it. The information will also be compared to the available data from similar surveys to check for consistency especially where estimates are involved.

The study may however face limitations which may include inability to collect information about school smoking policy from the administrators thus the information provided by the students will be essential as limited as they may seem.

Independent variables to be used

Individual-level variables

The primary individual level variable that would be considered is the existence of rules banning smoking according to the awareness of the student, this will be found out by posing a question that directly asks this and giving the student an option of giving a straightforward answer to the question. The other… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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