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Epidemiological study of tobacco smoking among young men in France

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 53(1): 75-81

Epidemiological study of tobacco smoking among young men in France

The smoking habits of 2 groups of young men were studied in 2 investigations carried out almost simultaneously by a questionnaire, completed under supervision. The 1st group comprised 47,942 subjects, with an average age of 19 yr, who had not yet started their military service. The other group consisted of 27,890 subjects, aged 21 yr on average, who had just completed their military service. Of the former, 80% were smokers, compared with 75% for the latter. Apart from the 2 differences mentioned, the composition of the groups was similar. Comparison of the 2 investigations showed that the tobacco smoking habit was acquired increasingly early in the younger age groups, whereas it increased in intensity and diversity in the older age groups. Among the familial factors involved, the importance of parental example is noteworthy. The social factors included the fact that young people acquire their independence increasingly early, their social status and their way of life. The earlier they acquire the habit, the more it ensalves them. Military service plays an insignificant role in the acquisition of the habit and strengthens it to only a moderate degree. Information on the dangers of tobacco is generally well received in France, but it does not influence the spread of smoking or weaken the habit once it is formed. This information would exert a greater impact if it were directed to parents rather than to their children and, among young people, to schoolchildren rather than to adolescents.

Accession: 005375621

PMID: 1085670

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