Background: The results of the Global School Personnel Survey (GSPS) conducted in India in 2009 are compared with 2006 GSPS to assess any change in 2009 on tobacco use and knowledge and attitudes to tobacco use, training and availability of tobacco control teaching material in schools and the existence of school tobacco control policies.
Methods: GSPS is a cross sectional survey conducted twice ( 2006 and 2009) in entire India. A total of 180 schools were surveyed each time.
Results: Of the participating school personnel, 2660 in 2006 and 2575 in 2009, about 95% were teachers and the balance administrators. In 2009, compared to 2006 the prevalence of current smoking of cigarettes (19.6% in 2006 and 10.3% in 2009) and bidis (21.5% in 2006 and 13.9% in 2009) was found to be significantly lower; the percentage of teachers receiving training on preventing youth tobacco use has significantly reduced (16.7% in 2006 and 10.1% in 2009); access of teachers to educational materials on tobacco use and how to prevent its use among youth had not increased (34.6% in 2006 and 37.8% in 2009); there was no change in policy prohibiting tobacco use among students and school personnel; however, ever use of any tobacco on school premises was significantly lower (15.6% in 2006 and 9.6% in 2009).
Conclusions: The prevalence of current smoking (cigarettes/bidis) among school personnel and use of any tobacco on school premises were significantly decreased in 2009 as compared to 2006. Necessary action should be planned to increase the number of teachers trained and the availability of teaching materials on preventing youth tobacco use in order to have effective prevention of tobacco use among students.