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Prevalence and social environment of cigarette smoking in Cyprus youth

Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health, Nicosia, Cyprus.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.32). 06/2008; 8(1):190. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-190
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Limited data exist regarding the extent of the problem among Cyprus youth. We use the Global Youth Tobacco Survey to assess the prevalence of cigarette smoking among middle and high school students as well as the social environment in which this is taking place.
The survey was conducted by the Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health. A two-stage cluster sample design was used to select a representative sample of students from middle and high schools registered with the Republic of Cyprus in 2005-2006. The study questionnaire consisted of 99 questions and participation in the survey was voluntary. Statistical analyses were performed taking into consideration the specific design of the study and the sample weights associated with each completed questionnaire.
The prevalence of current smoking, defined as having smoked cigarettes on one or more days of the past 30 days, is 13% among boys and 7% among girls in middle schools, and 36% among boys and 23% among girls in high schools. Furthermore, 16% of middle school students and more than 24% of high school students that had never smoked indicated that they are likely to initiate smoking within the next year. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is also very high with 91% of students reporting being exposed to smoke in places outside home. In addition, more than 95% of current smokers reported that they had bought cigarettes in a store during the past month and were not refused cigarettes because of their age.
Smoking prevalence among Cyprus middle and high school students is high and there are indications of an increase in the prevalence of smoking among girls over the last few years. Susceptibility rates, exposure to second-hand smoke, and access to and availability of cigarettes to youth are also high and concerning. The present survey indicates that the problem of cigarette smoking among youth in Cyprus is significant and requires collective action immediately.

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    • "considerable numbers of all students under study had still been exposed to secondhand smoke at home (cigarette: 19.8% and water pipe: 7.7%). A lot of studies [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] reported high exposure to secondhand smoke among students. There are 3 billion passive smokers in the world with one fourth of them younger than 14 years of age and most of these children are involuntarily exposed to the cigarette smoke even before birth [23]. "
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    • "The reasons for this are briefly elaborated below. Cyprus, like other societies, faces a number of social and health-related problems such as increased reported rates of smoking, alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases and delinquency (the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), 2000; Papadopoulos and Constantinopoulos, 2005; ASTRA Network, 2006; Bathrellou et al., 2007; Stylianou, 2007; Christophi et al., 2008; Lazarou et al., 2008; Lazarou et al., 2009; Karekla et al., 2009 "
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    • "576 male college students ) reported rather very high prevalence of smok - ing reaching 65% among adolescents more than or equal to 21 years of age ( Rozi et al . , 2007 ) . One more recently published study on school students from Cyprus reported a prevalence of current cigarettes smoking of 36% among males and 23% among females in high schools ( Christophi et al . , 2008 ) . More - over , the overall reported prevalence of smoking in Nairobi ( Kenya ) among a sample of 5311 students attending high schools was 38 . 6% of males and 17 . 9% of females ( Kwamanga et al . , 2003 ) . Previously published data from KSA were different from our current study in either methodology or selected samples that were no"
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