MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 226 respondents, using a questionnaire which had 4 sections: socio-demographic data, personal information, family information and social information. Data was analyzed using SPSS® version 16. For categorical variables, comparisons were made using Chi-square and for numerical variables a t-test was performed.
RESULTS: The current smoker prevalence rate was 20.8% which showed a significant association between smoking and individual factors: level of knowledge on the effects of smoking (p < 0.05), significant association was seen between smoking and marital status of parents, smoking status of male siblings and various other aspects of the individuals themselves.
CONCLUSIONS: Concerted efforts involving various parties should be taken to curb or prevent this problem or the number of teenage smokers in the country will increase. This in the long run will invite problems to the well being of the adolescents themselves, their families, community and the nation as a whole.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated if exposure of women to the Dutch famine during childhood and adolescence was associated with an unhealthy lifestyle later in life.
DESIGN: We studied 7,525 women from the Prospect-EPIC cohort, recruited in 1993-97 and aged 0-18 years during the Dutch famine. An individual famine score was calculated based on self-reported information about experience of hunger and weight loss. We investigated the association between famine exposure in early life and four lifestyle factors in adulthood: smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity level and a Mediterranean-style diet.
RESULTS: Of the 7,525 included women, 46% were unexposed, 38% moderately exposed and 16% severely exposed to the Dutch famine. Moderately and severely exposed women were more often former or current smokers compared to women that did not suffer from the famine: adjusted prevalence ratio 1.10 (95% CI: 1.05; 1.14) and 1.18 (1.12; 1.25), respectively. They also smoked more pack years than unexposed women. Severely exposed women were more often physically inactive than unexposed women, adjusted prevalence ratio 1.32 (1.06; 1.64). Results did not differ between exposure age categories (0-9 and 10-17 years). We found no associations of famine exposure with alcohol consumption and no dose-dependent relations with diet.
CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to famine early in female life may be associated with higher prevalence of smoking and physical inactivity later in life, but not with unhealthy diet and alcohol consumption.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted by distribution of a questionnaire developed as part of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey to Form 4 student in 3 schools at Shah Alam.
RESULTS: Prevalence of smoking (current smokers) was 7.5%. Almost half of the children came from families where one or both parents smoked and a third of the parents had no discussion regarding consequences of smoking with them. A large number of students were classified as "triers" as they had tried smoking and were unsure of whether they would not be smoking in the future. Contrary to our expectations, students generally felt smoking did make one feel more uncomfortable and helped one to reduce body weight. Most students seemed to be aware of the ill-effects of smoking on health. They felt they had received adequate information from school regarding the effects on smoking on health.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that even though Form 4 students in Shah Alam were knowledgeable about ill-effects of smoking and were taught so as part of their school curriculum, the prevalence of smoking was still high. Students in the "trier group" represent a potential group of future smokers and strategies targeting tobacco control may be aimed at tackling these vulnerable individuals. Efforts are also needed to help educate secondary school children about common misconceptions and dispel myths associated with cigarette smoking.