Initial results of poll conducted on topic “How to avoid youth from smoking?”

4 – 11th of May 2007 was conducted poll among high school pupils and students at schools and higher education institutes of Baku on topic “How to avoid youth from smoking?”. Questionnaires were prepared by the “ELS” Independent Research Center and the poll was conducted by volunteers of the Center. During the poll there were taken interviews from more than 600 high school pupils and students getting education in the field of medicine and other specialties (it is written as “non medical” on report). In order to provide anonymous of the poll the questionnaires were filled in by respondents personally. The aim of the poll was to identify modern youth’s attitude to smoking, research the reasons why they gain this kind of habits and search for the ways of combating it.

So, 53,2 % of respondents were males, 46,8 % were females. During expression of their attitude to smoking 17,4 % of respondents expressed their positive, 57 % expressed negative attitude to smoking. 25,4 % of respondents answered that this problem is not important for them. In comparing pupil and student respondents’ answers it is possible to see that most of students are in positive attitude to smoking rather than pupils (pupils 7,1 %, students 22,2 %).

Persons among the students whose attitude is more serious to this issue are doctors of future: at medical field – 64,8 % are against smoking, while at non – medical this figure was 49 %. We can see drastic difference in their attitude in comparison of smoking and non smoking people: smoking people – 53 % positive, non – smoking – 5,8 % positive.

In expression of attitude to girls and women’s smoking the respondents of all groups were in negative attitude – 70,4 %. Impact of smoke of cigarette to the health of people around was generally accepted as a negative fact – 81,2 %.

In defining the reasons of dissemination of smoking habit among youth the respondents emphasized first of all friends’ impact (22,9 %), next ones were – an ambition to have an external appearance of adult (20,4 %), elimination of stress (16,7 %), a wish to feel a man’s courage on itself (14,9 %), having nothing to do at leisure (10,9 %), having smoking family members (6 %), a wish to look like popular persons (5,4 %).

Answering the question whether they smoke or not 24,9 % of respondents told that they are smoking. 9,6 % of pupils acknowledged that they got used to this habit. 39,7 % of male respondents, 8,2 % of female respondents are smoking. Main reasons that they gained this habit: elimination of stress (26,2 %), friends’ impact (21,5 %), having nothing to do at leisure (16,8 %), a wish to look like popular persons (13 %) and others. In comparison of smoking males and females’ answers in a first place is mentioned elimination of stress, while in a second place friends’ impact (21,3 %) in males, a wish to look like popular persons (27,7 %) in females.

When asking them why don’t they get rid of this habit 33,6 % of respondents have given such answers as “I don’t want to do it”, 32,2 % “I can not get rid of it”, 34,3 % “I’ll get rid of it”. The most annoying result is getting big number of answers like “I don’t want to do it” from females rather than males (32.5 % – smoking males, 39,1 % – smoking females). Several proposals were offered by the respondents in order to decrease the number of smoking people: to reduce production of cigarettes (18.3 %), creating opportunities for youth for effective organization of their leisure time (15.4 %), organization of public ban campaign against cigarette (12,9 %), production of food (chewing gum) substituting cigarettes with small amount of nicotine in content (10.4 %), organization of visual propaganda showing the harm of smoking (9.8 %), conducting classes at schools and colleges about the harm of cigarette (7 %), organization of campaigns titled “Let’s say No to Cigarette!” with participation of famous persons (5.6 %) and others (3.5 %). 13.1 % of respondents think that there is no matter to combat against smoking, 4.1 % think that there is no need for it at all. The most attracting issue is that females who smoke think that there is no sense of fighting with this habit. The number of authors of such opinion is containing the highest percentage in comparison to other groups (38/5 %).

So, the initial outcomes of the poll confirm that the problem is very urgent for modern youth and joint effort of society is required in order to avoid them from this habit.