The lowest prevalence of teen smoking in the world was seen in Sri Lanka, according to a study, the Reuters news agency reported.
Roughly 11 percent of youth aged 13 to 15 around the world use tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars, a global survey of students suggests.
Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death and serious illness, killing an estimated 6 million people each year, researchers note in the youth tobacco report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most smokers take up the habit in their teens.
Across all of the countries in the study, the lowest prevalence of teen smoking (1.7 percent) was seen in Sri Lanka. The highest prevalence (35 percent) was in Timor-Leste.
For boys, the lowest smoking prevalence was 2.9 percent in Tajikistan and the highest was 61.4 percent in Timor-Leste. For girls, the lowest rate – 1.6 percent – was seen in Tajikistan and the highest – 29 percent – in Bulgaria.
In the majority of countries, at least half of current tobacco smokers said they wanted to quit, the study also found. The proportion of student smokers who said they desired to quit ranged from a low of 32 percent in Uruguay to a high of 90 percent in the Philippines.
Limitations of the study include the reliance on teens to accurately recall and report on their smoking behavior, the authors note. It also only included students enrolled in school, which might not fully represent smoking behavior in these countries. (Colombo Gazette)