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Original Articles

Smoking, addiction and promotion - an inquiry into perceptions of a group of adolescents in the Kandy Education Zone

Authors:

A. M. A. L. R. Alagiyawanna ,

University of Colombo, Colombo, LK
About A. M. A. L. R.
Medical Student (4th year), Faculty of Medicine

158 B, lhalagama, Gampaha (W.P.)
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P. A. J. N. Wickramaratne,

University of Colombo, Colombo, LK
About P. A. J. N.
Medical Student (4th year), Faculty of Medicine
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D. D. Samarasekera

University of Colombo, Colombo, LK
About D. D.
Lecturer in Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: Tobacco companies take vigorous action to promote smoking and to sustain the habit among young people. The companies mainly target students as they are in their formative stages of learning. Strong messages can influence their opinions leading to change in behavior.

 

Objectives: To describe the attitudes regarding smoking among the students, their awareness regarding promotional strategies of tobacco companies and to identify the methods of acquiring knowledge regarding these strategies among Grade 12 students in the Kandy Educational Zone.

 

Method: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out. A multi stage cluster sampling method was adopted to select the study sample of 204. A pre-tested, selfadministered questionnaire was used as the study instrument. •

 

Results: More than 80% of both sexes perceived smoking as a negative social characteristic. Majority of the students (91.6%) thought that smokers have got addicted to it due to the lack of proper understanding. Awareness among, the students about the indirect promotional strategies of the tobacco companies was satisfactory as 47% of students knew about them. However, 41% had poor or very poor knowledge regarding these strategies. Mass media was shown to be a major source of acquiring knowledge on tobacco promotional strategies. Only one third of the students who participated in the study have been exposed to seminars/ workshops conducted by anti narcotic organizations.

 

Conclusion: Students of our study population perceived smoking as a negative social characteristic. However, their knowledge regarding promotional strategies of tobacco companies needs improvement. Main mode of acquiring knowledge regarding promotional strategies was identified as mass media. The few who were exposed to seminars conducted by anti narcotic organizations were shown to have a significantly higher level of understanding on these strategies than the others.
How to Cite: Alagiyawanna, A.M.A.L.R., Wickramaratne, P.A.J.N. & Samarasekera, D.D., (2005). Smoking, addiction and promotion - an inquiry into perceptions of a group of adolescents in the Kandy Education Zone. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science. 48(1), pp.25–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v48i1.4840
Published on 24 Jun 2005.
Peer Reviewed

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