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Study reveals high prevalence of users of tobacco products

Result is due to sharp drop in cigarette users because of preventive and restrictive measures, survey says

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Recent data indicate that preventive actions and restricting the consumption of tobacco have caused the drop in the number of users of the product in Brazil. While the news is encouraging, there is evidence, however, that migration is occurring for other tobacco products in some regions of the country. Is the conclusion of the study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute published in the November issue of the Journal of Public Health at Fiocruz.

The survey was conducted with adolescents from Campo Grande, Sao Paulo and Vitoria, capital that took part in 2009 Vigescola, research that tracks students between 13 and 15 years of age, enrolled in the eighth and ninth years of elementary school and first grade of High School . The study included a total of 3,501 school children, who were asked about tobacco consumption in the thirty days preceding the interview. The overall response proportions were 72% in Campo Grande, 70.3% in São Paulo and 81.9% in Victoria.

The results show the prevalence in the use of tobacco products other than cigarette smoking, 4.3%, 18.3% and 21.3% in Victoria, Campo Grande and São Paulo respectively. In the last two capitals, the product most often smoked by both sexes was the hookah. The data reveal a high rate of consumption of the substance, similar even to those seen among young people in some Middle Eastern countries and Asia with a long tradition of consumption of the hookah. Despite the evidence that is so harmful to health as cigarettes, there is a population of misinformation about their damage, which makes using the narguillé be seen from a perspective of socialization also in Western countries, the researchers explain.

The study also found that the prevalence of cigarette smokers is lower in Campo Grande and São Paulo, or equivalent, in Victoria, to those who make use of other tobacco products. According to scholars, the growth of smokers derive from different cigarette plant would be driven by the tobacco industry in an attempt to circumvent the control actions using the product. There may be the illegal use of new media still closer to the young, such as advertisements for mobile phone and Internet, the underlying themes which should be continuous monitoring to support the understanding of the expanding use of new products, they say.

To prevent the spread of market users, the researchers suggest the use of health warnings on packs in the media and other tobacco products, and actions as the implementation of federal law on environment 100% free from all forms of tobacco smoking and total ban on advertising of products, including point of sale. The high levels found should serve as a warning to invest in the broad dissemination of information and the cessation of use among users. Therefore, it is important to target interventions to prevent the social acceptance of products and the belief that they are not harmful, experts warn.

   Palavras-chave:   Cigarette smoking    Smoking    Cancer    National Cancer Institute    Inca    Study    Research    Journal of Public Health    Fiocruz   
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