Colombia: tobacco use data among youth become available for the first time

On 19 November 2018, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia, in collaboration with Universidad del Valle, presented new youth smoking prevalence statistics from the first ever Global Youth Tobacco Survey (in Spanish: Encuesta Nacional Tabaquismo en Jóvenes, ENTJ) implemented in Colombia.

The GYTS is a nationally representative survey of school students, designed to enhance the capacity of countries to systematically monitor tobacco use by youth and to support Parties in fulfilling their obligations under the WHO FCTC Article 20 (Research, surveillance and exchange of information). The survey was conducted in 2016 among 60 914 adolescents aged 13-15 years.

The statistics revealed the continued exposure of adolescents to tobacco smoking. Approximately one in four (26.8%) school students smoked cigarettes over the past 30 days and merely 42.9% reported having ever received information about the health impacts of tobacco use. Households and schools are perceived by adolescents as places for smoking, with 14.8% and 25.6% of the students having ever been exposed to tobacco smoke at home and at school, respectively.

Tobacco control in Colombia is moving forward with the enforcement of law No. 1335 of 2009 on sale, advertising and promotion of tobacco products and law No. 1819 of 2016 on taxation; however, findings from the GYTS call for further strengthening the prevention and control of tobacco use among minors, through the effective implementation of the WHO FCTC.


The release of the data by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection can be watched here (in Spanish).

Full report will be released at a later stage and will be provided here once it becomes available.


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