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Teacher’s smoking-related attitudes studied

Media release
14 October 2008

Teacher’s smoking-related attitudes and behaviour studied

Teachers around New Zealand are being asked about their attitudes towards smokefree issues, including the Smokefree Environments Amendment Act (2003) when all New Zealand schools and early childcare centres went totally smokefree.

Researchers at The University of Auckland are asking 2,000 teachers, randomly selected from the electoral roll, to complete a questionnaire for the Teachers Say About Smokefree study. The study will address questions about whether teachers regard themselves as role models for their pupils, their smoking habits during the work week and at weekends, and if and how the Smokefree Environments Amendment Act impacted on their lives. The results will be used to assess teachers’ needs and guide government smokefree policy.

“School teachers were greatly impacted by the Smoke-free Amendment Act, which means they now have to leave school premises to smoke,” says Dr Marewa Glover of the School of Population Health and lead investigator on the study. “We are interested in whether the change in law supported teachers who smoked to stop, and how it’s been for teachers who still smoke as they have had to go off the school grounds during their breaks to smoke.”

In the 2006 census, 8% of teachers overall and 21% of Maori teachers were regular smokers. For this study, two thousand teachers have been randomly identified from the general and Maori electoral rolls and sent postal questionnaires to complete anonymously. Those questionnaires returned prior to 31st October will enter a prize draw to win an Air New Zealand Mystery Break weekend for two.


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