n South African Medical Journal - A comprehensive, health-promotion approach to tobacco control : editorial




A comprehensive health promotion approach to tobacco control can work among school-age children in Africa. This is the message from the study by Reddy et al. reported in this month's . The data sustaining the message were drawn from four Global Youth Tobacco Surveys (GYTSs) conducted among nationally representative samples of South African (SA) school learners during 1999, 2002, 2008, and 2011. The setting was public schools across the 9 provinces of SA, and the more than 7 000 learners in grades 8 - 10, aged 12 - 20 years. The percentage of learners who admitted to being current smokers (smoked a cigarette on at least one day in the 30 days preceding the survey) declined from 23% in 1999 to 16.9% in 2011 - a 26.5% reduction. Reductions in smoking prevalence, however, were less pronounced among girls and among ethnic black learners.


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