Article Abstract

Characteristics of smoking among young Greek males at the time of their recruitment in the army

Authors: Konstantinos Grapatsas, Vasileios Leivaditis, Emmannouil Dimopoulos, Zoi Tsilogianni, Evangelia Grapatsa, Manfred Dahm, Papanikolaou Zisis, Wolfgang Hohenforst-Schmidt, Ioannis Kioumis, Athanasia Pataka, Georgia Trakada, Paul Zarogoulidis


Background: Smoking is one of the biggest health problems worldwide. Several studies that have been recently conducted in Greece demonstrated a high prevalence of smoking among young people. The purpose of the current study is to describe the smoking habit of Greek male young people at the time of their conscription in the army.
Methods: In this study, 1,285 Greek army conscripts that were recruited from September 2013 to November 2014 were included. Their ages ranged from 18 to 28 years. A questionnaire was used for data collection. The questions were based on the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS).
Results: In total, 50.62% of soldiers (647 persons) answered that they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives, while 40.08% (589) answered negatively. 45.62% reported that they started smoking at the age of 16–20 years and 20.89% reported starting smoking at the age of 10 to 15. Only 1.82% reported starting smoking before the age of 10 and only 1.36% after the age of 20. Hence, the majority of the soldiers started smoking between 10 and 20 years old.
Conclusions: The prevalence of smoking and secondhand smoking in young Greek males is high. Early guidance should be provided in order to prevent smoking initiation.