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 objective of the study was to identify prevalence, attitude and practices of tobacco use among youth in Kurdistan Region of Iraq in order to develop Youth Tobacco Control Program.
Methods: We used a GYTS standardized methodology for constricting the sample frame, selecting participating schools and classes, and processing the data.
Results: In total, 1,989 students from Erbil, El-Solimaniah, and Duhook Governorates completed the GYTS. Overall response rate was 95.6%. One in four (27.1%) of the students had ever smoked cigarettes. Slightly over one in ten students currently smoke cigarettes (11.9%) or currently use other tobacco products (11.4%). Over one in ten (14.2%) never smokers indicated they are likely to initiate smoking in the next year; with no difference between boys and girls. Exposure to secondhand smoke was significantly higher for students who currently smoke cigarettes compared to never smokers: at home (71.9% vs. 39.7%), in public places (62.4% vs. 23.0), parents smoking (56.2% vs. 33.8%), and best friends smoking (11.6% vs. 2.5%) Conclusions: These findings indicate that tobacco control efforts in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq face a number of challenges such as high prevalence of currently cigarette smoking among the boys, use of other tobacco products among boys and girls and high exposure to SHS. The GYTS provided the Ministry of Health, Kurdistan Region of Iraq with the baseline data needed to develop a comprehensive tobacco control program. Future GYTS can be used to evaluate the tobacco control program efforts implemented.