Health Desk: June 17, 2017---Four out of 10 children in the country smoke their first cigarettes before the age of 10, and cigarette sellers hardly refuse to sell the harmful item to them, according to a new study.
The study reveals that nine percent students reported that they had smoked cigarettes, even a puff or two. This figure is significantly higher among boys compared to girls (boys 15.8 percent and girls 4.8 percent).
A total of 3,113 students of 52 schools participated in the study titled “Prevalence of tobacco use and its contributing factors among adolescents in Bangladesh: Results from a population-based study”.
Sheikh Mohammed Shariful Islam, AKM Mainuddin and Faiz Ahmed Bhuiyan of the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research (icddr,b) and Kamrun Nahar Chowdhury of the National Centre for Control of Rheumatic Fever and Heart Disease, Dhaka, jointly conducted the study in 2016.
Among the students, the study shows, two percent presently smoke. In addition to the current cigarette smoking, another six percent students also use other tobacco products.
Nine out of 10 current smokers (90 percent) reported that they had received help in quitting smoking.
"Adolescents are motivated to smoke by their peers, smoker parents or siblings and tobacco advertisements," said principle author of the study Dr Shariful Islam.
To check tobacco use among children, there is a need to develop support programmes helping people quit smoking at health facilities and in community levels, the experts said.