METHODS: We derived data from the Global School Health Survey (GSHS) 2012 and GSHS 2017, which was carried out in Malaysia using multistage sampling to select representative samples of secondary school-going adolescents. Both surveys used similar questionnaires to measure SHS exposure. Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the prevalence and factors associated with SHS exposure.
RESULTS: Approximately four in ten respondents were exposed to SHS in the past week in both surveys (41.5% in GSHS 2012 and 42.0% in GSHS 2017, respectively). Both surveys revealed a significantly higher SHS exposure among respondents who smoked than among non-smokers and higher among males compared to females. The likelihood of SHS exposure in both surveys was also similar, with a higher likelihood of SHS exposure among smoking adolescents and non-smoking adolescents who had at least one smoking parent/guardian, regardless of their own smoking status. Male adolescents had a higher risk of SHS exposure compared to their female counterparts. Meanwhile, SHS risk also increased with age, regardless of smoking status.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested that there were no changes in the prevalence of SHS exposure and recorded only a slight change in the factors associated with exposure to SHS among school-going adolescents in Malaysia between the years 2012 and 2017. A more pro-active, extensive and comprehensive programme should be implemented to address the problem of SHS exposure. Parents should be advised to stop smoking or abstain from smoking in the presence of their children, and smoking cessation interventions are necessary for smoking adolescents and their parents.