Warren CW, Jones NR, Eriksen MP, Asma S; Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) Collaborative Group. Lancet. 2006;367:749–753
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey assessed current tobacco use and exposure among young teenagers and evaluated susceptibility to starting smoking among nonsmokers.
STUDY POPULATION. Students aged 13 to 15 years (N = 747 603) at 395 sites in 131 countries and the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
METHODS. Students completed questionnaires to assess current tobacco use, cigarette smoking, susceptibility to smoking among nonsmokers, and exposure to secondhand smoke in homes and public places. Susceptibility to smoking was defined as an answer other than “definitely not” when asked if they would smoke a cigarette offered by a best friend or if they thought they would smoke at any time in the next 12 months.
RESULTS. Among all students, 17.3% currently used tobacco products and 8.9% currently smoked cigarettes. Current tobacco-product use was highest in the region of the Americas (22.2%), and current cigarette smoking was highest in the European region (17.9%) and region of the Americas (17.5%). Among students who had never smoked cigarettes, 18.3% reported susceptibility to smoking during the coming year. Susceptibility was highest in the European region (30.5%) and the region of the Americas (24.8%). Measures of use, susceptibility, and exposure were similar for boys and girls. Worldwide, never-smokers were less likely than current smokers to report exposure to secondhand smoke at home (prevalence: 39.1% [95% confidence interval (CI): 36.6–41.6] vs 72.8% [95% CI: 64.0–81.6]) and in public places (prevalence: 49.5% [95% CI: 46.7–52.3] vs 81.2% [95% CI: 74.2–88.2]).
CONCLUSIONS. Although tobacco exposure and susceptibility remain high among young teenagers, this study demonstrated a significant association between lower secondhand cigarette-smoke exposure and never smoking.
REVIEWER COMMENTS. Cigarette smoke is a common respiratory irritant that contributes to exacerbations of childhood asthma and rhinitis. This study provided evidence supporting the association between lower secondhand cigarette-smoke exposure and never smoking among young teenagers, which suggests an additional reason to counsel patients and their families regarding the immediate and long-term risks of exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke and cigarette smoking.
- Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Pediatrics