Germany: Every fifth adolescent smokes

Apr 23, 2008

As many as 20% of adolescents from 11 to 17 years of age smoke. This was the result of the nationwide German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), performed by the Robert Koch Institute and presented by the sociologist Thomas Lampert in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105[15]: 265-71).

The analysis of tobacco consumption by children and adolescents covered almost 7,000 girls and boys aged 11 to 17. Data on the current smoking status and on exposure to passive smoking were collected for the years 2003 to 2006. Possible factors influencing the findings were examined, including the social status of the family, the type of school attended by the adolescents, and the smoking status of parents and friends.

Thomas Lampert's study shows that friends and the type of school have greater influence on smoking behavior than the parents do. The probability that an adolescent starts smoking is markedly greater when his or her friends smoke. The risk is hardly increased if the parents smoke. On the other hand, students at general secondary schools (Hauptschule), intermediate schools (Realschule) or comprehensive schools (Gesamtschule) smoke much more frequently than do pupils at high school (Gymnasium).

The prejudice that boys smoke more often than girls could be disproved. The proportion of smoking girls is just as high, although they smoke fewer cigarettes. The average age of starting is between 13 and 14 years for both genders. Social status has hardly any effect on adolescents' smoking behavior. In contrast, smoking parents expose their children to additional stress from passive smoking.

Lampert concludes that there should be more emphasis on prevention of smoking by students at Hauptschule, Realschule, and Gesamtschule.

Source: Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

Explore further: Jamaica Senate starts debate on pot decriminalization bill

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Does bad behaviour run in the family?

Jan 05, 2015

University of Queensland research aims to answer the age-old question of whether anti-social behaviour is passed down through families.

Exploding meteor captured in new timelapse

Nov 07, 2014

The Milky Way likes to amaze us, and this great video shot by Wes Eisenhauer outside of Custer, South Dakota, shows an amazing exploding meteor and what is known as a persistent train from the fireball. The "remains" of the ...

Recommended for you

Chile's Bachelet sends abortion bill to Congress

3 hours ago

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet on Saturday pressed ahead with plans to decriminalize abortion in certain cases, a decades-old taboo in one of Latin America's most socially conservative countries.

Jamaica Senate starts debate on pot decriminalization bill

Jan 30, 2015

Jamaica's Senate on Friday started debating a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry on the island where the drug ...

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

Jan 30, 2015

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.