Monitoring Caribbean tobacco use: baseline adolescent smoking prevalence and regional disparities.


OBJECTIVE: To provide baseline information on tobacco use among adolescents in the Caribbean for the period before country-level implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using Global Youth Tobacco Surveys (GYTS) between 2000 and 2008, we report baseline prevalence, 5-year change, and disparities in tobacco use (ever smoked, currently smoke) among adolescents. RESULTS: The Caribbean prevalence of ever-smoked fell from 33.3 to 29.0% with nine of 14 countries reporting a 5-year decrease, and the prevalence of current smokers fell from 12.1 to 11.7% with eight of 14 countries reporting a 5-year decrease. Between-country disparities in the prevalence of ever smoked decreased, while between-country disparities in currently smoked saw little change. CONCLUSIONS: This regional summary of tobacco use provides baseline estimates of adolescent smoking, and cross-country smoking disparities for the period before MPOWER implementation. Subsequent GYTS survey rounds can be used to monitor program success.

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