The Experiences of Smoking in School Children up to and Including High School Ages and the Current Status of Smoking Habits; a Survey of Male High School Students in Japan


Objective: The burden of tobacco-induced cancer is so heavy that every country should give the highest priority ‍to tobacco control in its fight against cancer. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the actual conditions ‍of tobacco smoking among boys in Japan. ‍
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire survey. Two thousand and fourteen high school boys in Fukuoka ‍City, Japan, answered unsigned self-administered anonymous questionnaires about tobacco smoking. ‍
Result: Among 2014 students, 10.9% were current smokers. The rates of current smokers increased with the ‍school age: 6.3% in the first grade; 11.3% in the second grade; and 15.5% in the third grade (ptrend <0.01). A total of ‍35.1% of students had the experience of smoking and 30% experienced smoking before entering high school. Of the ‍students with smoking experience, 28.6% answered that they started smoking because their friends had offered ‍them cigarettes and 52.5% of current smokers bought cigarettes from vending machines. ‍
Conclusion: Health education for anti-smoking in all primary and secondary schools as well as restriction of ‍cigarette vending machines should be strongly recommended. ‍