INTRODUCTION: Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) has been proven to be detrimental to health. However, there is little information on SHS exposure among Malaysian adolescents. This study aims to assess the magnitude of and factors associated with SHS exposure among school-going adolescents in Malaysia.
METHODS: We performed secondary analysis on data from 25461 respondents of the Global School Health Survey in Malaysia. Descriptive analyses and multivariable logistic regression were performed to determine factors associated with SHS exposure.
RESULTS: Respondents were adolescents of mean age 14.84 (SD=1.45) years, 50.2% of which were male and 49.8% female. Approximately four in ten respondents were exposed to SHS in the past week (41.5%). SHS exposure was significantly higher among respondents who smoked than among non-smokers (85.8% vs 35.7%, p<0.001). The likelihood of exposure to SHS was higher among smoking adolescents (Adjusted OR=1.66, 95% CI: 1.07-2.56) and non-smoking adolescents (AOR=3.15, 95% CI: 1.48-4.71) who had at least one smoking parent/guardian regardless of their own smoking status. Male adolescents had higher risk of SHS exposure compared to their female counterparts (current smoker AOR=1.66, 95% CI: 1.07-2.56; non-smoker AOR=1.50, 95% CI: 1.12-2.00) and increased with age, regardless of their smoking status.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that prevalence of exposure to SHS among school-going adolescents in Malaysia is high. Parents should be advised to stop smoking or abstain from smoking in the presence of their children. Education programmes are recommended to increase awareness on avoidance of SHS as well as smoking cessation interventions for both adolescents and their parents.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.