Back to Conference page
The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: The County Council in Kronoberg has worked on tobacco prevention geared towards schools for a long time, mostly through student field trips visiting the organization “A Non Smoking Generation”. To gain knowledge about when young people begin their tobacco habits, the project began following an entire class of students with a tobacco habit survey.
Purpose: To study when tobacco is introduced and if this is different for boys and girls.
Methods: The study has been carried out through yearly surveys distributed in schools to about 2000 students who attended 6th grade at the beginning of the study in 1994. This has been followed up by tobacco surveys during a period of seven years, until the students graduated high school.
Results: The result shows a gradual increase in the number of smokers between 7th and 10th grade. In 8th grade there were as many boys as girls with any experience of smoking. However from 9th grade the boys' tobacco consumption is higher than the girls'. The boys' total tobacco consumption during high school is 39% and the girls total tobacco consumption is 34%. Out of those 12% of the boys are both snuffing and smoking compared to 1% of the girls. The answer frequency varied between 93% and 76%.
Conclusion: Studying youth's tobacco habits over time gives us an understanding of when preventive measures should be implemented. In order for these measures to influence attitudes, they should be put in place before tobacco is introduced.