Smoking-related disease is recognized as one of today's major preventable health problems. In Japan, adolescent smoking rates are still high although the minor under the age of 20 has been prohibited by the law. In this paper, we introduce our previous studies on smoking among Japanese youth. Although more than 90% of senior high school boys knew that smoking caused lung cancer and nearly 90% thought that environmental tobacco smoke exposure was harmful to non-smoker's health, smoking rate increased with the grade (i.e., 6.3% for 1st grade, 11.3% for 2nd grade and 15.5% for 3rd grade). A total of 35.1% of senior high school boys had the experience of smoking and 30% experienced before entering senior high school. Of the students with smoking experience, 28.6% smoked because their friends gave them cigarettes. Other study also revealed that having a friend who smoked was associated with an increased risk of being introduced to smoking for first time up to the 3rd grade of elementary school (odds ratio=16.4), from the 4th to 6th grade of elementary school (OR=9.0), throughout junior high school(OR=6.1), and throughout senior high school(OR=2.8). The implementation and enforcement of smoke-free school policies should be strongly recommended.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Smoking and Health|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
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