ASSIST (A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial): Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of a schools-based, peer-led, smoking intervention

Lead investigator
Professor Laurence Moore and Professor Rona Campbell

Smoking is the largest single cause of preventable illness in the UK, but whilst adult smoking prevalence has been falling, smoking amongst teenagers has risen over the last decade. There is no rigorous evidence to support the effectiveness of anti-smoking programmes in UK schools.

Aims & objectives
Evaluate a peer-support programme based out of school.
Study design

Cluster randomised trial.

  • Peer-nominated students in Year 8 (aged 12-13) were recruited as ‘peer supporters’ and given intensive training off the school premises by professional health promotion staff. The peer supporters were trained to intervene effectively with their Year 8 peers in everyday situations to discourage them smoking.
  • Fifty-nine schools in South Wales and Bristol were randomly allocated either to continue with their normal smoking education programme, or to do so with additional peer supporter training.
  •  Students were followed up for two years to see whether smoking prevalence in the intervention schools was lower than that in the schools which did not receive the training.
Further information & publications
Start date
February 2001
End date
February 2005
£1.5 million
Trial register number