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Seven-year-olds now hooked to smoking - Health ministry says

by Staff Reporter
14 Feb 2016 at 09:47hrs | Views
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has made shock revelations that children as young as seven years have started smoking.

A Global Youth Tobacco Survey carried out from 2014 to last year by the Ministry in conjunction with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, discovered that 12 % of pupils smoking tobacco started smoking at the age of seven or below.

Ministry of Health and Child Care director responsible for Mental Health, Tobacco, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Mrs Dorcas Sithole, who was the research co-ordinator, said the survey revealed that 22 percent of boys were using tobacco products compared to 15,8 percent of girls.

"In Zimbabwe the Global Youth Tobacco Survey was conducted in 2014 by Ministry of Health and Child Care. The overall response rate was 70,4 percent. A total of 6 427 eligible students in Grade Seven and Forms One to Three completed the survey of which 5 114 were aged 13 to 15 years.

"About 20 percent of the students have used tobacco products and 22 percent of boys have used tobacco while 15,8 percent of girls have used tobacco products. It was also discovered that 16,2 percent of the students have smoked tobacco while 12,4 percent of every cigarette smokers first tried cigarette at the age of seven years or younger," she said.

Sithole said there was an alarming increase in drug abuse by school pupils as well as young adults due to the adoption of the multi-currency system.

Source - Sunday News