Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Global Tobacco Use Among Girls

Global Youth Tobacco Survey (1999–2008) indicates that 7% of girls surveyed smoke cigarettes

Chart: Global Tobacco Use Among GirlsThe Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) is a school-based survey including students aged 13-15 years. Data from GYTS indicate the following:

  • For the period 1999–2008, GYTS was conducted in 168 sites around the world: Africa (43 of 46 countries); Americas (34 of 35 countries and 4 territories); Eastern Mediterranean (21 of 21 countries and 2 geographic regions); Europe (29 of 53 countries, and 1 UN-administered province); South-East Asia (10 of 11 countries); Western Pacific (20 of 27 countries, 2 territories, 1 special administrative region, and 1 Commonwealth).

  • Worldwide, 7% of girls surveyed smoke cigarettes and 8% use tobacco products other than cigarettes (such as pipes, waterpipes, smokeless tobacco, and bidis).

  • Cigarette use among girls is higher than 30% in 7 of the countries surveyed: Chile, Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands.

  • In all regions, susceptibility to initiate smoking is higher than current smoking rates among girls. (i.e., although 7% of girls smoke, 19% of girls who never smoked reported they were susceptible to start smoking).

The following table presents the GYTS data for three key tobacco-use indicators by World Health Organization (WHO) region.

WHO Region

Cigarette Use Among Girls (%)

Other Tobacco Use Among Girls (%)

Susceptibility Among Girls to Initiate Cigarette Smoking (%)

African Region (AFR)




Region of the Americas (AMR)




Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR)




European Region (EUR)




South-East Asia (SEAR)




Western Pacific Region (WPR)








GYTS is a part of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS), which aims to enhance country capacity to design, implement, and evaluate tobacco control interventions as well as monitor key articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and components of the WHO MPOWER technical package.

More Information

  • Global Tobacco Surveillance System Data
    This Web-based application was designed as a tool to disseminate GTSS surveillance data and supporting documentation (e.g., data sets, questionnaires, survey methodology, fact sheets, links to country reports). The application will be released in two phases (i.e., phase 1 in June 2010 and phase 2 anticipated in late 2010).

  • Global Tobacco Surveillance System: The GTSS Atlas
    This seminal atlas illustrates GTSS findings as well as key data from WHO's FCTC and MPOWER. Vivid maps and graphics give shape and meaning to the statistics and compare and contrast survey results between countries and regions, boys, girls, teachers, and health professions students.

  • Page last reviewed: May 19, 2011
  • Page last updated: June 21, 2010
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs