Changes in tobacco use among 13-15-year-olds in the Czech Republic--2002 and 2007.Cent Eur J Public Health 2008; 16(4):199-204CE
The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The EU has made tobacco use prevention a primary health issue and WHO European Region has adopted the European Strategy for Tobacco Control. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the status of tobacco use among adolescents in the Czech Republic and relate these findings to the tobacco control programme efforts supported by the EU and WHO.
Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) data were collected from representative samples of students in grades associated with ages 13-15 in the Czech Republic in 2002 and 2007.
Current cigarette smoking decreased from 35% to 31% overall. Exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) in public places remained unchanged over time (75% in 2007). Almost half of respondents reported having a parent who smokes and about one third had best friends who smoked. There were significant decreases in exposure to pro-tobacco advertisements on billboards in magazines.
Efforts to reduce the current and projected harm caused by tobacco use in the Czech Republic are urgently needed. The Czech Republic needs to expand its national comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programmes and enforce those laws already passed. Without this effort little reduction can be expected in the burden of chronic diseases and tobacco-related mortality. What this paper adds. Results from the GYTS conducted in the Czech Republic indicate a number of serious challenges to prevent and control tobacco use in the region despite a range of ongoing tobacco control activities. GYTS data can enhance countries' capacity to monitor tobacco use among youth; guide development, implementation, and evaluation of their national tobacco prevention and control programme; and allow comparison of tobacco-related data at the national, regional, and global levels.