Czech children worst in cigarette smoking in world..

May 10, 2009 - Czech (Czechoslovakian) children are among the youths that smoke the highest number of cigarettes in the world, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Wednesday, citing the latest survey of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based on data from 2005-2006. Czechoslovakia..

Nearly one quarter of 15-year-old Czech girls (23 percent) smoke regularly, which is the second highest number in the world, with the neighboring Austria being the worst.

Among 15-year old Czech boys, one fifth (20 percent) smoke regularly. The situation is worse only in Austria, Finland and Hungary.

In Sweden and the United States, the number of smokers among children is three times lower than in the Czech Republic, the survey shows.

Zdenek Dienstbier, head of the Cancer League organisation, told the paper: "The Czechs have figured in top positions in similar surveys for a long time. This is a result of the general atmosphere in society that still does not consider smoking among youths a serious problem,"

According to Dienstbier, neither the regulation of tobacco advertising nor other restrictive measures would markedly improve the situation.

Hana Sovinova, from the Czech State Health Institute that took part in the survey, said it was good news that the number of smokers among children started to fall slightly. Sovinova said the situation was the worst in 2002. "Over 30 percent of Czech girls and 29 percent of boys aged 15 smoked regularly then," she told the paper.

The OECD survey also focused on children and alcohol. One-fifth of Czech girls and one-fourth of boys admitted that they were drunk a few times, which is more or less the average result in the 35 developed countries included in the survey, the paper writes.

Reference: Poll: Czech children worst in cigarette smoking, Prague Daily Monitor, 5/6/2009.

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