To investigate the appropriate ages when juveniles receive smokefree education, we examined their intention of smoking, incidence of smoking, and family smoking history.
We used questionnaires to assess smoking history among juveniles (elementary school 5th and 6th grade pupils (11-12yo, n=175), junior high school 8th grade students (14yo, n=122), and high school students (16-18yo, n=579)) after giving them smokefree education. The questionnaire includes asking about the student’s and family smoking history, and the student’s intentions regarding future smoking. The latter was compared between before and after smokefree education.
1) Among high school students, 44% of boys have tried smoking and 34% are current smokers; 24% of girls have tried smoking and 16% are current smokers. 20% of them started smoking in elementary school, 60% began in junior high school, and only 20% began in high school. 2) High school students were significantly more likely to try smoking if family members are current smokers, compared with students without smokers in the family. Among both high school and junior high school students, significantly more students intended to smoke if they had smokers in their family. 3) Less than 15% of those who have tried smoking are habitual smokers in elementary school and junior high school; however, more than half are habitual smokers in high school. 4) Smoke free education had a substantial effect on quitting smoking or giving up smoking intention in elementary school pupils, but only a moderate effect in junior high school students, and little effect in high school students.
In Ishinomaki, smokefree education is much more effective if it is started at the earlier ages of at most 11-12yo.
It is important to start smokefree education programs before juveniles start to smoke.
Masaru Yanai, None.