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Global Prevalence of Any Tobacco Use Substantial for Teens

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2021 -- For adolescents, the global prevalence of tobacco use is substantial, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Chuanwei Ma, from the Cheeloo College of Medicine at Shandong University in Jinan, China, and colleagues examined the prevalence of tobacco use using data from Global Youth Tobacco Surveys for adolescents aged 13 to 15 years. Trends were examined among 1,192,312 adolescents included from 140 countries that had completed at least two surveys between 1999 and 2018.

The researchers found that the most recent prevalence of cigarette smoking was 11.3 and 6.1 percent; 6.0 and 2.6 percent; and 4.2 and 1.6 percent in boys and girls based on smoking at least one, three, and six days during the past 30 days, respectively. The most recent prevalence of use of tobacco products other than cigarettes on at least one day was 11.2 and 7.0 percent in boys and girls, respectively, while the most recent prevalence of any tobacco use was 17.9 and 11.5 percent for boys and girls, respectively. In 57.1, 27.9, and 15.0 percent of the 140 countries, the prevalence of cigarette smoking on at least one day during the previous 30 days decreased, was unchanged, and increased, respectively. In 89 of 137 countries (59.1 percent), the prevalence of use of tobacco products other than cigarettes was unchanged or increased.

"These results reemphasize the importance of regular monitoring of the prevalence of tobacco product use in populations, including among adolescents, and the need to strengthen tobacco control efforts globally," the authors write.

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