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Children's loss of autonomy over smoking: the global youth tobacco survey


Background Empirical data suggest that children with infrequent tobacco use have difficulty quitting smoking.

Methods Data were obtained from the nationally representative Global Youth Tobacco Survey of middle-school students in Cyprus and Greece. Regression analyses examined associations between smoking frequency (smoking days per month or cigarettes smoked per day) and loss of autonomy (difficulty refraining from smoking).

Results The prevalence of lost autonomy was 40% among subjects who smoked 1 or 2 days/month and 41% among subjects who averaged less than one cigarette/day and increased in a dose-response pattern. Regression models derived from the Cyprus data were replicated by the Greek data.

Conclusions Two national surveys confirm previous reports of difficulty with smoking cessation with infrequent smoking. Since loss of autonomy is universally recognised as a core feature of addiction, our data indicate that young adolescents experience symptoms of nicotine addiction with infrequent tobacco use.

  • Nicotine addiction
  • tobacco
  • dependence
  • children
  • GYTS
  • smoking
  • addiction theories
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Addiction

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