Prevention of teenage smoking through negative information giving, a cluster randomized controlled trial

Johannes Thrul, Anneke Bühler, Felix J.F. Herth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aims: The objective of this study was to evaluate the preventive effect of a clinic-based, emotionally arousing, negative information giving intervention on adolescents' protective and risk factors of smoking. Methods: Data of 563 students (18 schools) from a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in Heidelberg, Germany (2010-2011) were analysed. The intervention included a presentation about the risks of smoking, a live video session of a pulmonary endoscopy and a testimonial interview with a lung cancer patient. A prevention booklet served as the control condition. Students' reaction to the intervention was assessed after 2 weeks, risk and protective factors of smoking and smoking status were assessed after 2.5 months. Findings: The clinic intervention received significantly better ratings of credibility, personal relevance and emotional arousal than the booklet. Differences between clinic and booklet groups failed to reach significance on smoking-related threat appraisal, coping appraisal, protection motivation, behavioural intention and smoking status. Conclusions: Although the clinic intervention generated a significant immediate reaction, there were no significant preventive effects at follow-up. These results are in line with previous research and add further evidence for the ineffectiveness of emotionally arousing negative information giving in smoking prevention with adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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