Research paper
CC-BY-NC 4.0

Factors Associated with Exposure to Passive Smoking among 12-18 year-old Students in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece

Andreas S Lappas 1, 2  ,  
Niki Dimou 3,  
Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece
Smoking and Lung Cancer Research Centre, Hellenic Cancer Society, Greece
Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics, University of Thessaly, Greece
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2015;1(November):7
Publish date: 2015-11-28
Passive-smoking is a major, preventable cause of disease, disability and death. It is estimated that the majority of the world’s population is still living in countries not fully covered by smoke-free public health regulations and Greece is unfortunately one of them. The aim of our study, conducted in October 2014, was to provide up to date information regarding determinants of exposure to passive smoking among the student population of the two biggest Greek cities.

Our survey was conducted on a representative sample of middle and high school students (1803 in total, 810 boys and 992 girls), living in the two biggest cities of Greece. A questionnaire was developed to estimate the exposure of students to passive-smoking. Relative frequencies were calculated for all the questions and a Pearson χ2-test was used to evaluate the potential association of several variables with gender, age and smoking status. Logistic regression analysis were also applied to evaluate the association between social influences and the likelihood of being exposed to passive smoking.

A total of 86.7% of youth were exposed to passive-smoking during the 30 days preceding the survey. Daily exposure during the past 7 days was reported by 20.2% of the students. The highest rates of exposure were reported in cafes (61.2%), home (43.7%) and school (37.2%). Gender, age, smoking status, and the smoking habits of parents, siblings and friends, but also the sight of peers and teachers smoking inside the school campus, were significant determinants of students’ exposure to passive smoking.

Passive-smoking exposure is prevalent among the student population in Greece, despite the New Anti-Smoking Legislation that came into effect in July 2009. Our findings indicate that enforcement of the law and additional public health initiatives must be implemented.

Andreas S Lappas   
Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), 4 Soranou Ephessiou st. 115 27, Athens, Greece