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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 438-442

An assessment of the effectiveness of tobacco control measures on behavior changes related to tobacco use among adolescents and young adults in a district in Sri Lanka

1 National Poison Center of Malaysia, University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
2 Surveillance (Tobacco Control), WHO South-East Regional Office, New Delhi, India
3 Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, WHO South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
W D De Silva
National Poison Center of Malaysia, University Sains Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.107753

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Introduction: Sri Lanka became a signatory to the WHO Frame Work Convention on Tobacco Control in September 2003, and this was ratified in November 2003. With a view to reduce the use of tobacco in Sri Lanka, the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act (NATA) No. 27 of 2006 was implemented. Aim: To assess the behavior changes related to tobacco use among adolescents and young adults following exposure to tobacco control measures were implemented by NATA. Materials and Methods: A case-control study was conducted on 42 adolescent (aged 13-19 years) and 156 young adult (aged 20-39 years) men living in Anuradhapura Divisional Secretary area in Sri Lanka. Cases (current quitters) and controls (current smokers) were compared to ascertain the outcome following the exposure to tobacco control measures. A self-administered questionnaire and focus group discussions were used to ascertain the exposure status in cases and controls. Confounding was controlled by stratification and randomization. Univariate analysis was performed by Backward Stepwise (Likelihood Ratio) method. Results: Among 198 respondents, 66 (27.3% adolescents and 72.7% young adults) were quitters, while 132 smokers (18.2% adolescents and 81.8% young adults) were current smokers. Exposure to the anti-smoking media messages revealed that TV was the strongest media that motivated smokers to quit smoking. Majority (66%) of cases and control were not exposed to tobacco promotion advertisements, while 47% of the cases and 50% of the control had never seen tobacco advertisements during community events. All cases (66) as well as 89% (118) of the control had not noticed competitions or prizes sponsored by tobacco industry during last year ( P = 0.13). Conclusion: Tobacco control measures implemented by NATA had a favorable influence on behavior change related to smoking among quitters and current smokers.


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