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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



Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM
13-269

Adolescent Smoking and Social Environment

Antoaneta M. Manolova, PhD, Child and Adolescent Health, National Center for Public Health Protection, Sofia, Bulgaria, 15, Acad Iv. Geshov blvd., Sofia, Bulgaria, George S. Kotarov, MPH, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, National Center of Public Health Protection, 15, Acad Iv. Geshov blvd.,, Sofia, 1431, Bulgaria, and Galia Tzolova, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, National Center for Public Health Protection, Sofia, Bulgaria, 15, Acad Iv. Geshov blvd., Sofia, Bulgaria.

Objective: to report the prevalence of current tobacco use and the factors of the social environment that may influence adolescent smoking in Bulgaria.

Methods: As a part of the international surveillance project “Global Youth Tobacco Survey”, the study has used a standardized anonymous questionnaire, which was completed by 2167 students (1020 boys and 1147 girls), aged 13-16 years, from 50 randomly selected schools in Bulgaria

Results: show high smoking prevalence among Bulgarian adolescents - 37.4% are current active smokers. Only 24.5% of the participants lived with non-smoking parents. Current smokers live more often in families with one or both parents-smokers (82.8%), than non-smokers (67.2%). Less than the half (42.6%) the parents are aware of their child's smoking behavior and 11.8% allow their children to smoke at home. For 45.7% of the students the leading factor influencing their choice to smoke is the friendly circle. Almost two-thirds of current smokers (65.1%) purchase their cigarettes from a store; and 75.7% are not asked to show proof of age when making these purchases. More youth have been exposed to pro-tobacco messages than to anti-smoking messages and 27.5% current smokers possess an item bearing a cigarette logo on it. Results furnish original information for the social factors that are related to students smoking and they may provide arguments for future interventions to prevent smoking in Bulgarian adolescents.