Tobacco use among young people is increasing in the United Arab Emirates, and the country is ranked 15th in the world for prevalence of type II diabetes. Expatriates comprise a majority of the population, making them an important subset to study. We aimed to test whether an educational intervention would be effective in this cultural setting. We designed 2 peer-to-peer health workshops: tobacco use and nutrition/physical activity. One workshop was randomly assigned to 18 classrooms in private schools in Abu Dhabi. Surveys were administered before and after the workshops to assess intervention effectiveness. The tobacco workshop significantly improved responses (P < 0.05). The nutrition and physical activity workshop resulted in decreased satisfaction with personal activity levels. This study provides evidence to support the national adoption of a peer-to-peer health education model as an intervention for tobacco use but not for nutrition and physical activity choices.
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