The Biomedical Research Foundation (IIE) of the Academy of Athens has published a study, according to which 46.2% of students have tried smoking. The study took place in schools across Attica and Thessaloniki, with 1,802 students in secondary education participating.
The harmful habit, which appears to be more prevalent in Athens schools, has no “class boundaries” as the rates in public (48.6%) and private (35.5%) schools are similar.
The study, which is available for download (in Greek), showed that:
- 89.2% of students have seen other students smoke in school;
- 73.3% of students have seen teaching staff smoke, with 75.9% also expressing their dismay at teaching staff smoking on school grounds;
- 86.7% of students are aware of nicotine being highly addictive and the serious health implications, but 44.5% believe that occasional smokers are not addicted;
- 33.5% of student smokers are in Attica high schools, while 20.3% of student smokers are in their final year;
- 17.9% of student smokers picked up the habit between 14 and 15 years old, 9.15% between 12 and 13, while 14.2% begin smoking before their 13th birthday;
- 18.5% of students smoked within the past 15 days, while 8.7% consider themselves regular smokers. Of those, 44.2% smoked between 2 and 10 cigarettes in the past 10 days, while 23.8% smoked more than 11;
- 60% of students responded that at least one of their parents smokes.
The Minister of Education Andreas Loverdos was asked whether formal anti-smoking education would be included in the curriculum and responded that at present students are already overloaded with information, opting instead to promote healthy activities and nutrition.