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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 971-979; doi:10.3390/ijerph6030971

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph Article

Prevalence and Risk Factors for Initiation of Smoking in Greek High-School Students
Lazaros T. Sichletidis *, Diamantis A. Chloros, Anastasios I. Tsiotsios and Dionisios G. SpyratosLaboratory for the Investigation of Environmental Diseases, Pulmonary Clinic, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; E-Mails: dchloros@msn.com (D.A.C.); atsiotsios@yahoo.gr(A.I.T.); dspyrato@yahoo.gr (D.G.S.) * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-mail: sichlet@med.auth.gr; Tel.: +30-2310992363; Fax: +30-2313- 307316 Received: 15 December 2008 / Accepted: 14February 2009 / Published: 2 March 2009

Abstract: The smoking habits of 9,276 high-school students (15-18 years old) in six cities of Northern Greece were studied using a questionnaire in order todetermine the prevalence and possible risk factors for initiation of smoking. We observed that 29.6% of high-school students (32.6% of boys and 26.7% of girls) were current smokers. A percentage of43.3% had started smoking before the age of 14. Reactive behaviour towards parents’ and teachers’ advice (40.2%) and the existence of smoking friends (40.1%) were the main reasons of initiation. Awell-planned integrated anti-smoking campaign is urgently required, especially among students and teachers. Keywords: Adolescence; epidemiology; Greece; high-school students; smoking.

1. IntroductionMost data on the prevalence and the trends of smoking habits have been provided by the USA and only over the last years relevant research has been initiated in other countries, mostly within theframework of the worldwide anti-smoking campaign being carried out under the auspices of the WHO. In Greece, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has recently implemented an anti-smoking campaign. The need...
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