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The spot survey on alcohol and tobacco trends has been conducted bi– annually for the past six years consecutively. The task of this survey is to monitor and identify the prevailing consumption trends related to alcohol and tobacco use. Another purpose is to identify the current attitudes with regard to alcohol and tobacco use.
The current report is comprised of the results obtained in July 2004 survey. A comparison of the results obtained in the years of July 2003 and 2004 is also presented in this report.
The July 2004 survey was carried out in six districts, namely Colombo, Gampaha, Galle, Kegalle, Anuradapura and Matale.
Questionnaires were used to gather the required information. The questions asked were straightforward and easy to comprehend.
The research and evaluation program trained field investigators especially for this survey.
The survey was conducted over a period of three weeks and the sample size was 1494, which comprised of male respondents of the age over fifteen.
Table – Sample by Age
|Age (In years)||Total (n=1494)|
Result: No of smokers were 43.9%of the total respondents,
On further study of the age wise prevalence of smoking, it is reported that the highest percentage of smokers were found among those belonging to the age group of 40 and above. The percentage of smokers in this group was 51.1%
The lowest percentage of smokers was found in the 16 – 24 age groups [38.1%]
45.6% smokers were of the 25 –40 age group
Frequency of smoking
Out of the smokers 85.8% of the smokers were daily users and out of the daily smokers 97.3% consumes 1–5 units per day.
The highest percentage of smokers using 1–5 units of tobacco per day was found in the 15 – 24 age groups (99.4%).
Reasons for smoking
Reasons for smoking were also investigated. The Highest number of (36.4%) smokers reported that they smoke as a habit and majority of them belongs to the above 40 age group.
18.7% of the smokers said they smoke because they were taught it can be an enjoyment and majority of them belongs to 16–24 age group 22.3 of the young people who were in the 16–24 age category has said that peer pressure is the reason why they smoke Smokers who mentioned ‘Lack of Knowledge’ as the reason were only 14.9% and comparatively lower than the other reasons such as pressure of friends and As taught can be enjoyed.
The majority (50.0%) of those who stated they smoked as a habit were from the 40 and above age group, as well as the most common reason given by those from the 16 – 24 age group was Habit.
This indicates that young people much more than any other target group smoke for the reasons such as peer pressure and the social education as “smoking is enjoyable”.
Reasons for not smoking
Reasons for not smoking were also observed. Among the respondents 40.8% did not smoke because it was a stupid act while 22.0% refrained from smoking, as it is ‘not good for health’. 18.2% of the non–smokers mentioned that they don’t like to smoke.
It is important to note that from all the age groups, among the non–smokers 36% stated that they do not smoke because it is a ‘stupid act’.