Smoking among vulnerable populations in Serbia
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Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
Charles University in Prague and General Teaching Hospital in Prague, Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Government of the Czech Republic, National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction, Prague, Czech Republic
Submission date: 2017-04-06
Acceptance date: 2017-04-07
Publication date: 2017-05-25
Corresponding author
Biljana Kilibarda   

Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Serbia, dr Subotica 5, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2017;3(May Supplement):38
The aim of this study is to explore smoking prevalence among six vulnerable population groups in Serbia from 2008 to 2013 and identify the need for smoking prevention and cessation programs for highly vulnerable populations.

Material and Methods:
Smoking prevalence data were extracted from the databases from the (bio) behavioral surveillance surveys among populations most at risk for HIV and those living with HIV. Self-administered or interviewer administered questionnaires were used in 2008 (n=2,818), 2010 (n=2,305), 2012 (n=1,823) and 2013 (n=3,299). Different sampling methodologies are applied across the groups. Vulnerable groups included: men who have sex with men, (snow-ball sampling (SB) in 2008-2012 and respondent driven sampling (RDS) in 2013); sex workers (SB); Roma youth (RDS); children without parental care living in institutions (cluster sampling); prisoners (cluster sampling); people living with HIV (convenient sampling).

More than 50% of respondents in all groups report smoking, with the highest percentage among sex workers (90.5% in 2013). There were not significant changes between survey waves in majority of vulnerable groups.

Smoking rates are exceptionally high among vulnerable populations in all age groups, among males and females. There is a concern that smoking prevention and cessation are not prioritized for these populations and ignoring tobacco use in these populations will worsen their already vulnerable health and social position due to the long-term health effects of smoking. Development and implementation of tailored individual and social network-level interventions are needed.

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