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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 885: Perceived Relative Harm of Selected Cigarettes and Non-Cigarette Tobacco Products—A Study of Young People from a Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Rural Area in Poland

06 Sep 2016

The perceived health risk of recently introduced nicotine and tobacco products may influence both their uptake and continued use. The aim of the study was to assess how adolescents rate relative harmfulness of slim and menthol cigarettes, water pipes, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco compared to regular cigarettes. Cross-sectional survey data from students aged 13–19 years from Piotrkowski district, Poland were analyzed. Among the sample of 4050 students, 3552 respondents completed anonymous, confidential, self-administered questionnaire adapted from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS). The study results indicate that the students perceived slim cigarettes and menthol cigarettes as less harmful, which is in line with the message created by tobacco companies. On the other hand, less popular products such as water pipes and smokeless tobacco were considered as more harmful. The current study indicates insufficient and misleading perception of harmfulness of different tobacco/nicotine products available on the Polish market. Simultaneously, there is insufficient countrywide public health education in this matter. Preventive measures are necessary to discourage young people from smoking uptake and to ensure that potential consumers can, based on objective data, make informed decisions about cigarettes and non-cigarette tobacco products.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health