Tobacco epidemic trend among Almaty teenagers
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Smokefree Coalition
Nazarbyev Univeristy, Astana, Kazakhstan
Medical faculty, Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A127
Tobacco smoking reduction is the focus of the Almaty Smokefree program which performed a survey to investigate the trends in tobacco use among 13-15 aged.

The express survey used the GYTS (Global Youth Tobacco Survey) methodology and self-administered standard questionnaire which consists of 59 questions. Anonymous interviews were conducted among students in 6 to 9 grade in schools which were randomly selected from the general list of schools in the of Almaty. Sampling covered 3210 between 2013 and 2015.

13% of respondents had ever smoked shisha in 2013 and 16.5% in 2015. Boys (20%) smoked shisha more then girls (13.2%). Prevalence of ever smoking cigarettes remained at 9% level in both years, but consumption of smokeless tobacco products decreased from 2% to 1% in 2013 and 2015 respectively. The vast majority of shisha smokers believe that shisha is less harmful than cigarettes and easier to quit. The majority of shisha smokers did not have any desire to quit in the future (71% in 2013 and 56% in 2015) and made no efforts to quit smoking during the previous 12 months (82% in 2013 and 65.4% in 2015). At the same time, more than half of the teenagers who smoked cigarettes mentioned that they would like to quit smoking and made efforts to quit smoking during previous 12 months. Shisha smoking session is associated among teenagers as relaxing, socially enjoyable event which improves group communication.

GYTS based surveys on 2013 and 2015 revealed an increase in shisha smoking among Almaty teenagers to 3.5% within 2 years, although it was insignificant. Such a growth calls for urgent introduction of complete smoking ban in public places and information campaign to address knowledge gap and myths.

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