High school teens heavy smokers —survey

A survey by the Rwanda-National Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) which was conducted in 2008 in schools of Rwanda shows that nicotinism prevalence in teenagers is high.

A survey by the Rwanda-National Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) which was conducted in 2008 in schools of Rwanda shows that nicotinism prevalence in teenagers is high.

The survey which was aimed at gathering information relating to the prevalence of the nicotinism in children between 13 and 15 years includes data on prevalence of cigarette and other tobacco use and information on five determinants of tobacco use which are; access/availability and price, exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS), cessation, media and advertising, and school curriculum.

According to the survey, the problem of nicotinism, like everywhere else remains a great concern especially among the youth.

A survey of tobacco in secondary schools carried out in 2004 jointly by the Ministry for Health and the Ministry for Education, with the support of World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that 24 percent of students in secondary school smoked.

The Rwanda-National GYTS was a school-based survey of students conducted last year among students in ordinary level of secondary education (senior one to three) by the ministry of health in partnership with the ministry of education.

The consumption of the tobacco constitutes an avoidable cause of mortality in the world. Figures provided by WHO shows that there are 4 million deaths related to the nicotinism each year.

WHO maintains that this toll is likely to increase to approximately 10 million deaths by 2030 if targeted actions are not carried out. In Africa, at least 850.000 people die annually because of nicotinism.

Studies carried out in the past years indicate that the prevalence of smoking among teenagers is on the increase and the age of initiation is also becoming lower.

According to the Ministry of Health, Rwanda already started actions to fight against nicotinism after the ratification of Convention Tallies of WHO on the fight against tobacco in October 2004.

Currently, the government is developing a national bill of fight against tobacco and a Ministerial Directive on prohibition smoking in the public places is in force since 2005. 

Another Ministerial Directive putting a ban on publicity in favour of the tobacco is in force since 2007.

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