School personnel, who are respected members of the community, may exert significant influence on policy adoption. This study assessed the impact of school personnel's permissiveness toward tobacco industry sponsorship activities on their support for complete bans on tobacco advertisements, comprehensive smoke-free laws and increased tobacco prices. Representative data were obtained from the Global School Personnel Survey for 29 African countries (n = 17 929). Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) were calculated using multi-variable Poisson regression models to assess the impact of permissiveness toward tobacco sponsorship activities on support for tobacco control policies (p < 0.05). The median of prevalence of support for different tobacco control policies among all countries was as follows: complete ban on tobacco advertisements (84.9%); comprehensive smoke-free laws (92.4%) and tobacco price increases (80.8%). School personnel who believed that the tobacco industry should be allowed to sponsor school events were significantly less likely to support complete bans on tobacco advertisements [aPR = 0.89; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84-0.95] and comprehensive smoke-free laws (aPR = 0.95; 95% CI 0.92-0.98). In contrast, support for complete tobacco advertisement bans was more likely among those who believed that the tobacco industry encourages youths to smoke (aPR = 1.27; 95% CI 1.17-1.37), and among those who taught about health sometimes (aPR = 1.06; 95% CI 1.01-1.11) or a lot (aPR = 1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.10) compared with those who did not teach about health at all. These findings underscore the need to educate school personnel on tobacco industry's strategies to undermine tobacco control policies. This may help to build school personnel support for laws intended to reduce youth susceptibility, experimentation and established use of tobacco products.
- tobacco industry