Thursday, August 23, 2007

Drop in number of children smoking -

I received some good news in my email this morning from Michael McGloin of COPD Support in Ireland. He sent me the following article from Wednesday's news on

Drop in number of children smoking
Wednesday, 22nd August, 2007

The number of children and teenagers who smoke has dropped by over a quarter since 1998, a survey published today revealed.

The Health Behaviour in School aged Children Survey 2006(HBSC) shows the significant decrease in the number of 10 to 17-year-olds who say they smoke.
The HBSC survey also shows a 13 percentage point decline in the number of children who have ever smoked a cigarette, from 49 per cent in 1998, to 41 per cent in 2002 and 36 per cent in 2006.
In terms of current smoking behaviour, 15 per cent of 10-17 year olds say they smoke compared to 19 per cent in 2002 and 21 per cent in 1998.
The Office of Tobacco Control (OTC) welcomed the results of the survey but warned against complacency.

√Čamonn Rossi, chief executive of the OTC said: "This survey shows a significant decline in the proportion of children smoking - with the proportion saying they have ever smoked or are currently smoking dropping by over a quarter since 1998.
"While this is indeed a very positive and significant outcome, we cannot be complacent.

"The office's own research has confirmed that initiation into smoking is largely a childhood phenomenon. More than three-quarters of all smokers in Ireland started to smoke before they reached the age of 18," he said.

Mr Rossi said the OTC had been warned that tobacco industry needed "50 Irish children to start smoking every day in order to maintain the size of its current customer base".

The HBSC study was undertaken on behalf of the Department of Health and Children by the Health Promotion Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway. Over 330 schools participated with some 13,700 pupils completing questionnaires.