Progress of tobacco control activities in Sri Lanka: A study based on the global youth tobacco surveys
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Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka
National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
Supun Lahiru Prakash   

Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine, Suwasiripaya, No 385, Rev. Baddegama Wimalawansa Thero Mawatha, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A42
Sri Lanka has taken several steps in tobacco control efforts in recent years, which was the first country in Asia to ratify the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control. It is also the first country in the Southeast Asian Region to introduce tobacco control legislation.

This study measured the success of tobacco control efforts in Sri Lanka using the facts of GlobalYouth Tobacco Surveys (GYTS) from 1999 to 2015. Special focus was given to youth tobacco use in this study as it reflects the future of tobacco control in the country.

Data of eleven indicators related to tobacco use, exposure to smoke, media/advertising, cessation, and awareness of GYTS in Sri Lanka conducted in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 were used in this study. The Chi-square test was performed to test for homogeneity of proportions with P <0.05 considered statistically significant. Furthermore, linear regression models were used to study the trend of each indicator over the period.

The study found out that the youth results on ever smoked cigarettes, current cigarette smoker, current use of other tobacco products, being a never smoker likely to initiate smoking in the next year, one or more parents that smoke, being exposed to smoke in public places, having an object with a cigarette brand logo, ever being offered a free cigarette by a cigarette company representative, and wanting to stop smoking now have shown a decreasing trend over the period. Meanwhile, support of banning smoking in public places and having been taught in class about the dangers of smoking in the past year have shown an increasing trend. The homogeneity of proportions showed statistical significance.

Tobacco control activities in SriLanka have shown significant progress during the study period. However, the decline in wanting to stop smoking as a cessation indicator is doubtful and further studies should be done to understand this finding.

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