Background: The increase in smoking among female students in recent years has become one of the major public health concerns in the world. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of educational intervention based on the health belief model (HBM) on the adoption of smoking preventive behaviors among university female students.
Methods: This was an experimental interventional study that was conducted on 114 female students of Islamic Azad University of Tonekabon Branch (57 in each intervention and control group) in 2018. The data collection tools included a demographic questionnaire and the International Tobacco Survey based on HBM about the dangers of smoking which was completed in two stages before and one month after the intervention. The educational intervention was conducted in three sessions using two methods of lecture and group discussion. The collected data were analyzed using proportional tests and SPSS software, version 21.
Results: Before the intervention, there was no significant difference in the mean scores of the HBM constructs and smoking preventive behaviors between the two groups (P>0.05), but one month after the intervention, a statistically significant increase was observed in the mean scores of all constructs and preventive behaviors in the experimental group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Overall, the HBM-based education was effective in preventing smoking among female students, and the implemented intervention was appropriate to the used model.