Background: Smoking has been internationally recognized as an epidemic contributing to major health problems. Smoking contributes to most of the preventable deaths worldwide. Although Cyprus is considered among developed countries with high smoking prevalence (estimates of 2535 of the population), not much has been done for the systematic scientific study of this problem, especially in adolescence. The present study aimed to investigate smoking prevalence and related factors among Cypriot adolescents. Methods: Participants were selected through stratified random sampling. The final sample included two subpopulations: middle (n 1085) and high (n 767) school students. Results: Six percent of middle school students reported being regular smokers. This climbed to 24 among high school students. Smoking prevalence increases with age, and appears higher in boys than in girls. Smoking is quite common in the participants families, particularly among fathers. Cigarette and smoke exposure in the home was high, as only a fifth of the students reported smoking never being allowed in the home. Exposure to actors smoking on television was the norm (6267) with low reported exposure to anti-smoking messages. Having friends who smoke, exposure to others smoking and low educational aspirations were significant predictors of smoking for both groups. Additional predictors, which were different for middle and high school students, were identified. Conclusion: Further research to investigate the nature of these effects is required and to provide further insight into the psychosocial parameters affecting smoking. These results can guide possible prevention and intervention programs for adolescents, and suggest the importance of following a systemic approach.
- Smoking prevalence
- Tobacco exposure