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Knowledge and attitudes of children towards cigarette smoking and its damage



Knowledge and attitudes of children towards cigarette smoking and its damage



Patient Education and Counseling 37(1): 49-53



The present study reports the results of knowledge and attitudes of 280 children (mean age = 6.9 +/- 0.75 years) towards cigarettes and smoking. Subjects were divided into two groups: (I) children of parents who smoked (n = 178) and (II) children whose parents did not smoke (n = 102). The scoring for knowledge in the topics of cigarettes, smoking and the consequences was similar in the two groups (6.2 +/- 2.2 vs 6.1 +/- 2) (N.S.). The differences between the two groups were obvious and significant (p = 0.001) in their attitude towards smoking and its damage; children in group I displayed tolerant attitudes towards smoking even though they knew its consequences in comparison with the children of group II (6.1 +/- 2.4 vs 7.0 +/- 2.2). Without any exceptions among the children of the two groups, 7.4% believe that even at this young age they will begin to smoke one day. In addition, 2.1% pointed out that it is possible they will belong one day to the smokers' group. Of the population study, 90.2% believe that instruction about smoking damage should be included starting from the first grade of elementary school, and certainly, it should be at the level which will be understandable for them. As the pupils' knowledge about the consequences of smoking was lacking, we could add that the important topic of smoking and the damage it can inflict should be taught in all schools from the level of the first grade and during all subsequent years of study. Pupils should be familiar with all aspects of negative consequences caused by cigarette smoking. This knowledge may have influence upon their attitude towards smoking and smokers. More studies should be done to find what may change the positive attitudes of these pupils towards cigarettes and smoking.

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Accession: 046508057

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PMID: 10640119


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