Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Second-hand smoke still threatens nation’s students

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

Second-hand smoke remains a threat in the nation’s schools even though it is banned at the secondary level and below, according to a recent survey by the Bureau of Health Promotion.

The survey suggested that about one in five middle school students say they are exposed to second-hand smoke on campus, while 11 percent of second-hand smoke exposure is said to come from teachers and faculty members.

The bureau asked students in middle school and vocational schools about their exposure to cigarette smoke over the seven days prior to the survey and found that about 20 percent of junior-high and high school students reported that they had been exposed to second-hand smoke within that timeframe.

The survey also found that the general trend was that the older a student is, the more likely they are to have been exposed to second-hand smoke, with 26 percent of 16-year-olds saying that they were exposed to -second-hand smoke, while the number increased to 30 percent for 18-year-olds and 51 percent for 19-year-olds.

While the source of second-hand cigarette smoke was usually peers, 11 percent came from teachers and faculty members, the report showed.

In junior-high schools and high schools, while more than half of the second-hand smoke is said to be generated by students, between 20 percent and 30 percent came from visitors to the school (including parents), while 6 percent to 7 percent came from security guards, janitors and other administrative staff at the school.

When asked about their own smoking habits, the survey results showed that compared with results in 2006, when 9.7 percent of junior high school boys said they smoked, that figure has increased by 1.5 percentage points to 11.2 percent last year. However, there was a decrease in the proportion of female smokers in the same age group, the survey showed.

Students in night school had a higher proportion of smokers than students in any other category with 40 percent, the survey showed.

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