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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: to focus on tobacco prevalence among Bulgarian school personnel and the attitudes to smoking in school settings.
Methods: The GSPS Bulgaria follows the pattern of the international surveillance project, initiated by WHO and other partners. The study has been carried out in 2002 with response rates: 91.3% (with 2963 of the 3245 sampled personnel completed usable questionnaires). The statistical analysis has been performed by CDC.
Results: 68.3% of the respondents state that they had ever smoked: 70.6% men and 67.7% women, 32.6% declare themselves as daily (regular) smokers and 18.1% as occasional ones. Smoking rates are higher in: women (33.3%), health personnel (37.8%), headmasters (35.8%) and teachers (32.3%). The 24-39 aged present the highest smoking rate. Disturbing is the fact that 42.3% of school personnel has smoked and is currently smoking at school and do not consider school as a normal setting for smoking cessation- only 26.8% of current smokers declare that they have received any help or advice to quit. Most respondents are aware that tobacco use seriously affects health. Total 87.1% of the school staff declares that school personnel must give a good example as non-smokers. Nearly all the respondents (93.8%) support banning smoking among students, but only 71.0% agree with such bans for school personnel. Smoking in Bulgarian schools is a priority public health issue. There is an urgent need to develop and implement preventive and intervention programs in school settings, addressed both to students and school personnel.