Trends of tobacco smoking among males in Sri Lanka in the new millenium
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Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC), Research & Evaluation Programme, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A784
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Since 2000, Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) conducted a bi-annual survey to determine prevalence and trends of tobacco smoking in Sri Lanka. It is the only trend monitoring survey of tobacco prevalence which is widely recognized in Sri Lanka.
Objective: To determine patterns and trends in tobacco smoking among males above fifteen years in Sri Lanka.

The survey initially recruited participants from five districts selected randomly. Since 2012 the survey covered ten districts. Two hundred and fifty males above 15 years from each district were recruited using a nonrandom, accidental sampling method validated using a multi stage cluster sampling method. Data on consumption, initiation, frequency, attitudes are collected by trained interviewers. Structured interviews are employed to collect data using Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

The current smoking prevalence reduced by 6.9% (July 2000; N=1136 P=39%; July 2016; N=2321 P=31.9%). The decreasing rate increased during the period July 2006 to July 2008. Since July 2007, the major initiating age group was year 16-20 (Min; 50%, Max; 60%). Initiating before the age of 20 shows a decreasing (from 82% to 67%) trend. Most smokers (72%) state they are daily smokers and the trend has remained static over the years. The most frequent number of cigarettes per day is 4 sticks. The prevalence of occasional smokers shows little fluctuation and the overall trends remain static. Tobacco users expressed that they used tobacco as a habit. Most common reason for never using tobacco was dislike/ unpleasant feeling towards tobacco use.

Smoking tobacco is decreasing among males in Sri Lanka. Initiation age group seems to be shifting from 20 and below years to above 20 years.