Background: The adolescents start smoking in earlier ages currently.Most of the factors related to onset of smoking are associated with the school environment and peer pressure.It is important to identify these measures for providing effective prevention strategies.Another aspect of prevention is legal regulations in the community against smoking. By the recent regulations, Turkey became a “Smoke Free Country”.The smoke free air zone in Turkey include all open and enclosed areas of pre-school education institutions, private schools, and primary and secondary education institutions.
Aim: The aim of current study is to determine the smoking rates of adolescents at the high-school level.
Methods:313 adolescents were interviewed for their smoking status.These adolescents were the students of a high-school in a district of Ankara.
Results: This study included 154 female (49.2%) and 159 male (50.8%) students with a median age of 16 (range: 14-19). Smoking prevalence among these adolescents were 13.7%.The rate of the ex-smokers were 6.4%. Mean duration for smoking was 2.95±2.04 years, and mean cigarettes per day was 8.14±7.68. Males smoked more than females,17% vs 10.4%,but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0,09).An increasing trend was observed for smoking rates in adolescent population between 14 to 18 years of age
Conclusions:Smoking in youth is a major public health problem all over the world.Many studies investigated the prevalence of smoking in adolescent age groups both nationally and internationally.One of the recent studies was Global Youth Tobacco Survey,which conducted in 2003 in Turkey.According to the results of that study, active smoking rate was 9.1%, and the rate of ever-smokers was 29.3%.We found higher rates for active smokers,but lower values for ever-smokers. This is related to the sampling differences in two studies.But,both studies suggest that smoking is very frequent.According to these results,more comprehensive approaches,including psychosocial support,should be administered to decrease,and ideally eliminate,smoking in adolescence.