228601 Smoking among youth in Suriname

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dominique Meekers, PhD , Dept. of International Health and Development, Tulane University SPHTM, New Orleans, LA
Paul Hutchinson, PhD , International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Katherine Andrinopoulos, PhD , Department of International Health and Development, Tulane SPHTM, New Orleans
Lung cancer accounts for 6% of deaths in Suriname. Smoking initiation occurs early, and many youth are exposed to secondhand smoke. In 2008, Suriname ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which will guide its tobacco control policies. Given these imminent policy changes, information about smoking initiation and the factors that affect it is needed.

We use data from the 2000 and 2004 Suriname Global Youth Tobacco Surveys (n= 1,799 and 2,205) to measure the age at which youth started smoking cigarettes. We use survival analyses to estimate the proportion of youth who started smoking by a given age. We examine differences in age at smoking initiation between 2000 and 2004, and differences by gender and other factors.

Preliminary analyses confirm that males are more likely than females to smoke, and to do so earlier. 12% of males but only 7% of males tried cigarettes before age 10. By age 17, 71% of males but only 50% of females had tried cigarettes. Age at smoking initiation increased between 2000 and 2004. In 2000, 10% of students had their first cigarette before reaching age 10. By the time they reached age 17, 64% had tried cigarettes. In 2004, 9% had tried cigarettes before age 10, and 54% had tried cigarettes by their 17th birthday.

The finding that youth including girls -experiment with cigarettes at a very early age. This suggests that there is a need for smoking prevention and cessation program that target children before they reach middle school.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe trends in smoking behavior among youth in Suriname, identify appropriate target groups for smoking prevention and smoking cessation programs.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Smoking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have extensive experience conducting research on public health issues in developing countries
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.