A social marketing intervention to prevent smoking uptake in adolescents living in Cluj-Napoca, Romania


In Romania, NCDs are responsible for 91% of all deaths in a year. Tobacco consumption is a major risk factor for NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and respiratory diseases. Yet, in Romania, 26.7% of the entire adult population smokes, 17.1% of these taking up smoking before the age of 15. As smoking experimentation during adolescence significantly increases the risk of becoming a regular smoker in adulthood), preventing smoking uptake in adolescents could significantly lower future smoking rates in adults and, therefore, reduce the incidence and prevalence of NCDs.

The goal of this study is to pilot-test a social marketing intervention designed to prevent smoking uptake among 5th and 6th-grade children (aged 10 to 13) attending four schools in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, with the purpose of reducing the prevalence of smoking in adults and ultimately decrease non-communicable diseases (NCDs)– attributed deaths in Romania.

This study involves the implementation, over a period of 12 months, of a social marketing intervention designed to prevent smoking uptake among adolescents. The study will be conducted in four secondary schools in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. A quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group study design with pre- and post-intervention measurements is employed to address the study objectives (two schools in each study group). The intervention will be informed by a thorough formative research phase, needed to develop intervention materials tailored to the needs and preferences of adolescents in Romania.

Specific objectives:

  • to develop, implement, and evaluate a school-based, social marketing intervention designed to prevent smoking uptake in adolescents
  • to decrease intentions to smoke in students assigned to the intervention group by 15%, by the end of the intervention.

Starting / Ending Date

2013 – 2014

Project Coordinator

Center for Health Policy and Public Health at Babeș-Bolyai University – Romania


Funder: The Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
BBU Amount: 8000 EUR

Staff from Department of Public Health