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Global Youth Tobacco Surveillance, 2000–2007

January 25, 2008 / Vol. 57 / No. SS01


MMWR Highlights

Global Youth Tobacco Use Prevalence

  • Previous estimates of a doubling of deaths from smoking (from 5 million per year to approximately 10 million per year by 2020) might be an underestimate because of the high prevalence of smoking among young girls compared with adult females, the high susceptibility of smoking among never smokers, and high levels of exposure to secondhand smoke and pro-tobacco indirect advertising.
  • Overall, 9.5% of students currently smoked cigarettes. The rate was highest in the European Region (EUR) (19.2%) and lowest in Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) (4.9%).
  • Among the 151 sites surveyed, no difference was observed in smoking prevalence between boys and girls in 87 sites; boys had higher rates than girls in 59 sites, and girls had higher rates than boys in five sites.
  • One of 10 (10.1%) students currently used tobacco products other than cigarettes (e.g., pipes, water pipes, smokeless tobacco, and bidis). The rate was highest in the EMR at 12% and lowest in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) at 6.6%.
  • Among the 147 sites where data could be reported, no gender differences were reported in 98 sites. Boys were significantly more likely than girls to use other tobacco products in 49 sites.
  • Cigarette smoking was significantly higher than other tobacco use in the Region of the Americas (AMR), EUR, and WPR. Other tobacco use was significantly higher than cigarette smoking in EMR and the South-East Asia Region (SEAR); and no differences in the African Region (AFR).
  • Among students who had never smoked cigarettes, 19.1% indicated they were susceptible to initiate smoking during the next year.
  • No differences in susceptibility to smoke were reported between boys and girls in 122 of 144 sites. However, boys were significantly more likely than girls in 16 sites, and girls were significantly more likely than boys in six sites to initiate smoking.
Determinants of Tobacco Use

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

  • Overall, approximately 4 of 10 students (42.5%) were exposed to smoke in their home during the week preceding the survey.
  • Approximately half (55.1%) of all students were exposed to secondhand smoke in public places during the week preceding the survey.
  • More than three fourths (78.3%) of students in all regions thought smoking should be banned in all public places.

Indirect Pro-Tobacco Advertising

  • Overall, 14.9% of students owned an object with a cigarette brand logo on it.
  • About 10% of students had been offered free cigarettes by a tobacco-company representative.

Global Youth Tobacco Cessation

  • Overall, 68.7% of students who currently smoke cigarettes reported that they desired to stop smoking.

Access and availability to tobacco products

  • Five of 10 (46.7%) students who currently smoke cigarettes usually purchased their cigarettes in stores.
  • Seven of 10 (70.5%) students who bought cigarettes in a store were not refused purchase during the month preceding the survey because of their age.

Youth Anti-Tobacco Awareness

  • More than half of the students (57.6%) reported having been taught in school about the dangers of tobacco during the preceding school year.
 
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