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Changes in Tobacco Use Among Youths Aged 13–15 Years——Panama, 2002 and 2008

January 9, 2009 / Vol. 57 / No. 53

MMWR Introduction

Analyses of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey found that between 2002 and 2008, youth tobacco use and the likelihood that nonsmoking youth would start smoking declined substantially in Panama. Factors that influence tobacco use also showed significant decreases, including—

  1. Exposure to secondhand smoke at home and in public places
  2. Best friends smoking
  3. Pro-tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines
  4. Having an object with a tobacco company logo on it

Researchers believe that strong tobacco control efforts in Panama helped reduce tobacco use among adolescents. According to the article, evidence-based tobacco control efforts—such as those undertaken in Panama to limit exposure to both pro-tobacco messages and secondhand smoke—have a demonstrable effect on smoking prevalence and behavior among youth.

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