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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: The purpose was to ascertain data on young people's smoking prevalence, knowledge and attitudes related to tobacco use, exposure to media messages smoking and to environmental tobacco smoke, and the inclusion of health education about tobacco use in school curricula.
Methods: All elementary schools containing seventh, eighth grades, and all high schools having first, and second grades. The response was 58 schools, 4682 students.
Results: 16.8% of students currently use any form of tobacco; 16.7% never smokers likely to initiate smoking next year. ETS exposure is over 8 in 10 students live in homes where others smoke in their presence; over 9 in 10 are exposed to smoke in public places; almost half of the students have parents who smoke. Over 9 in 10 students think smoking in public places should be banned. Almost 7 in 10 smokers want to quit. Only 6 in 10 students are taught in school about dangers of smoking. Conclusion: A comprehensive tobacco control and smoking prevention and cessation strategy needs to be adopted and applied. Tobacco control programs and media campaigns should be implemented, while new programs targeting children at the youngest possible age are needed. A comprehensive Tobacco Control Program should include the following elements: schools-based programs, smoking cessation, restriction of exposure to second-hand smoke, media campaigns, and prohibition of availability of tobacco products to minors.