Rapid decline in cigarette smoking among children in Poland
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Health Promotion Foundation, Poland
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Poland
Witold Zatonski   

Health Promotion Foundation, Poland
Publish date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A21
In the last decade daily cigarette smoking among children has been rapidly declining in several countries around the world. Studies conducted in this period in Poland include the Health Behaviour in in School-aged Children (HBSC) study (2010 and 2014) and the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS, 2016). This paper explores whether this positive trend also applied in Poland.

Material and Methods:
GYTS, a nationally representative school-based survey of students, was conducted in Poland in 2016. This paper compares the smoking prevalence in Poland among 15-year-olds in GYTS with earlier studies.

GYTS included responses from 5154 pupils, among whom 1699 were aged 15. The overall response rate was 81.7%. Among participants aged 15 daily smoking prevalence has decreased for the first time to under 5% (to 4.8% among boys and 3.6% among girls). This constitutes a significant decrease since 1998, the year with the highest daily smoking among 15-year-olds in Poland, when the prevalence was 24% among boys and 14.4% among girls 1.

A similar decline has been noted in other European countries. In Norway in 1998 among 15-year-olds smoking prevalence stood at 18.2% among boys and 20.9% among girls. By 2014 the daily smoking prevalence declined among 15-year-old boys to 2.1%, and among girls to 0.6% 2. In several other countries, including USA, daily smoking prevalence among children is at similar levels of under 5% 3.

1. Zatoński WA, Aaro LE, Samdal O, Mazur J. Smoking- or nicotine-free generation, or both? What should be the public health priority? J Health Inequal 2016; 2 (2): 105–108.
2. Aarø LE, Mazur J, Zatoński WA, Samdal O. Trends in smoking among Polish and Norwegian youth 1986-2014. J Health Inequal 2016; 2 (1): 44–51.
3. Zatoński WA and al. Rapid decline cigarette smoking by children. J Health Inequal 2017 (2). In print.