What Polish schoolchildren know about cancer prevention and tobacco use? Results of pilot survey from 32 schools
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Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute - Oncology Center, Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw University of Technology, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2017-04-28
Acceptance date: 2017-04-28
Publication date: 2017-05-25
Corresponding author
Jakub Lobaszewski   

Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute - Oncology Center, Wawelska 15B Str., 02-034 Warsaw, Poland
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2017;3(May Supplement):19
Between 2013-2015 the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute - Oncology Center in Warsaw, Poland was responsible for the coordination of a nationwide educational program "School promoting the European Code Against Cancer". Over 770,000 students aged 11-15 years old have participated in the program. The aim of this work is to present results of the pilot survey on schoolchildren's knowledge on cancer prevention.

Material and Methods:
32 schools and 1031 students aged 11-15 years old participated in the survey. We used a short questionnaire containing 14 single choice questions concerning European Code Against Cancer recommendations, including five questions concerning issues related with tobacco use. Data were collected between October and November 2014.

The majority of students had a high score of knowledge on cancer prevention, as the average percentage of correct answers in all schools was at the level of 71%. Highest scores were obtained for questions concerning tobacco smoking. The majority (93%) of students are aware that secondhand smoke is harmful, 88% know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Poland and 84% know that tobacco use is the leading cause of the worldwide cancer burden.

Results of our pilot study suggest that educational activities on cancer prevention are an effective measure of increasing schoolchildren health literacy. The vast majority of students is highly aware of the harm related to tobacco use.

Ministry of Health of the Republic of Poland (the program was conducted within the National Cancer Control Program for years 2006-2015 (task: primary prevention of cancer)

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