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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 evaluate the impact of national level tobacco control policies on the smoking behavior of adolescents and estimate of smoking behaviors and attitudes among adolescents in Thailand.
Methods: This ITC Thailand Survey is part of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project in Southeast Asia (ITC-SEA), which launched in January-March 2005. The ITC Thailand Survey includes a cohort of 1,000 adolescent respondents aged 13-17. The ITC Thailand Survey follows a multistage cluster sampling design. Respondents from within sampled households were selected without regard to smoking status. Sampled adolescents were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: At baseline, 14.7% of adolescents were smokers, with smoking prevalence being much lower among females. Smoking prevalence increased rapidly with age. Smokers, compared to non-smokers, expressed more positive beliefs about smoking. Cigarettes smoked per day was low. Almost 50% of smokers obtained their cigarettes from friends and reported that is was easy to obtain their cigarettes. Logistic regression models were estimated to identify the determinants of adolescent smoking. The main determinants of smoking related to the social environment. As the number of household members that smoke increased and as the number of close friends who smoke increased, the likelihood of smoking also increased. Drinking alcohol and smoking were very closely related, with those who drink the most likely to smoke.
Conclusion: These findings highlight the strong need for anti-smoking campaigns for Thai adolescents in schools and in the community. In order to reduce adolescent smoking the social environment needs to change.