Smoking Habits of Children Institutionalized in Family Care Homes in Mures and Harghita County

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2015-0042

Background: Smoking is a problem of the modern world and annually produces more victims, and due to ignorance and lack of health education in our country the disease diagnosis is made at an advanced stage. Many studies show that, young people aged between 10 and 18 are smokers and start smoking at an increasingly early age. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the smoking habits of institutionalized children in family care homes from Harghita and Mures county.
Methods: The method chosen was a sociological survey based on questionnaires. Our study included 254 children institutionalized in family care homes in Mures county and 254 children from Harghita county. Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
Results: A statistically significant difference was obtained analyzing the number of smokers from the group of children under 12 years in Mures compared to the Harghita county. More than half of children smoked their first cigarette after they entered in family care homes in both counties and the most common setting in which the children were smoking was when being together with their friends.
Conclusions: In Mures county the number of smokers under the age of 12 was significantly higher than in Harghita county. Despite the educational classes and institutional regulations of smoking, more than half of children smoke. The decisive role in testing of smoking are the friends. Due to the very high number of underage smokers, the prevention and education hours have an unquestionable importance.

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