Smoking Cessation Unit, NRITLD, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services,
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistic, Institute of Public Health, TEHRAN University of Medical Sciences and Health Services,
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, TEHRAN-IRAN.
Background: Cigarette smoking is the first preventable death in the world. The number of cigarettes smoked per day and the years of smoking are considered as the main risk factors in causing the related disease, mortality, and morbidity. Since it seems that the age at which smoking is started has decreased in our society, it is important to recognize the cause and factors that affect the tendency towards cigarette smoking in this period of life. Materials and Methods: This research was conducted according to WHO questionnaire and Global Youth Tobacco Survey project (GYTS). A total of 1119 high school students were chosen randomly from different educational districts of Tehran from the year 2002 to 2003 and questioned in this regard. Results: 28.2% of students (25.2% female and 30.8% male) smoked occasionally and 4.4% of them (1.5% female and 6.06% male) smoked daily. 67.7% of smoker students started smoking before the age of 15 and 88.7% of them before the age of 17. The most important reason for smoking among 55.3% of students was curiosity and leisurely smoking was observed in 19.3%. Also, presence of a smoker in the family is one of the effective factors that affects the initiation of smoking in students; this was statistically significant (p= 0.000). Conclusion: According to the results of this research, students must be properly trained by appropriate methods in this regard in order to prevent the initiation of smoking in school-aged children. (Tanaffos 2004; 3(9): 41-46)