Access to Anti-smoking Information among School Children and its Potential Impact on Preventing Smoking Initiation: Results from the Global Youth Tobacco Use Survey (GYTS) 2014 in Viet Nam

  • Published : 2016.04.14


Scientific evidence on all aspects of smoking amongst youth is very important for designing appropriate interventions to reduce smoking among this vulnerable population. This paper describes current access to anti-smoking information among school children aged 13 to 15 years in Vietnam in 2014 and examines its potential impact on preventing smoking initiation. The data used in this paper were obtained from the 2014 Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in Vietnam. Students were asked questions about their level of awareness of anti-smoking information from various sources in the past 30 days and about lessons in school regarding the dangers of tobacco use during the last 12 months. Those who have never smoked were asked "whether or not they thought about avoiding cigarettes because of health warnings on cigarette packages" and answers were analyzed in combination with data on access to anti-smoking information from other sources. The prevalence of exposure to antismoking campaigns was high among school children in Viet Nam: 55.3% of current smokers reported thoughts of smoking cessation because of health warnings on cigarette packages; 60.5% of never smokers avoided initiating smoking because of the same health warnings. The potential impact of graphic health warnings to prevent school-aged children from smoking initiation would be stronger if there was concurrent access to anti-smoking programs on the dangers of tobacco use in schools. However, school education for tobacco prevention and control has not been as strong as expected. A more comprehensive school curriculum on tobacco prevention and control is recommended to reinforce antismoking messages among school children.


  1. Bonell C, Hinds K, Dickson K, et al (2016). What is positive youth development and how might it reduce substance use and violence? A systematic review and synthesis of theoretical literature. BMC Public Health, 16, 1-13.
  2. Brinn MP, Carson KV, Esterman AJ, et al (2010). Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 1006.
  3. Farrelly MC, Niederdeppe J, Yarsevich J (2003). Youth tobacco prevention mass media campaigns: past, present, and future directions. Tobacco Control, 12, 35-47.
  4. Giang KB, Minh HV, Hai PT and et al (2016). Methodology of global youth tobacco use survey (GYTS) in Viet Nam, 2014. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 17 Tobacco Prevention and Control in Viet Nam Suppl, 11-15.
  5. Government of Vietnam (2013). Decision No 229/QD-Ttg dated 25, January 2013 of the Prime Minister approving "The national strategy on tobacco harm prevention and control till 2020"
  6. Kessler DA (1995). Nicotine addiction in young people. N Engl J Med, 333, 186.
  7. Levy DT, Bales S, Lam NT, et al (2006). The role of public policies in reducing smoking and deaths caused by smoking in Vietnam: Results from the Vietnam tobacco policy simulation model. Soc Sci Med, 62, 1819-30.
  8. Lozano R, Naghavi M, Foreman K, et al (2012). Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 380, 2095-128.
  9. Ministry of Health of Vietnam, Hanoi Medical University, General Statistics Office of Vietnam, et al (2010). Global Adult Tobacco Survey: Vietnam 2010.
  10. Murray CGL, Lopez AD (1997). Alternative projections of mortality and disease by cause, 1990-2020: global burden of disease study. Lancet, 349, 1498-504.
  11. National Assembly of Vietnam (2012). The Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco harms.
  12. Pechmann C, Reibling ET (2000). Planning an effective antismoking mass media campaign targeting adolescents. J Public Health Manag Pract, 6, 80-94.
  13. Perry CL, Eriksen MP, Giovino G (1994). Tobacco use: a pediatric epidemic. Tobacco Control, 3, 97-8.
  14. Prime Minister's Office (2000). Government resolution No.12/2000/NQ-CP on national tobacco control policy 2000 - 2010.
  15. Reinert B, Carver V, Range LM (2004). Anti-tobacco messages from different sources make a difference with secondary school students. J Public Health Manag Pract, 10, 518-23.
  16. Richardson AK, Green M, Xiao H, et al (2010). Evidence for truth(R): the young adult response to a youth-focused anti-smoking media campaign. Am J Prev Med, 39, 500-6.
  17. Silver MZ (2001). Efficacy of anti-tobacco mass media campaigns on adolescent tobacco use. Pediatr Nurs, 27, 293-6.
  18. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey Collaborative Group (2002). Tobacco use among youth: a cross country comparison. 11, 252-70.
  19. Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH) (2014). Implementation of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm in Vietnam.
  20. Wakefield M, Flay B, Nichter M, et al (2003). Role of the media in influencing trajectories of youth smoking. Addiction, 98, 79-103.
  21. World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control (2007). Global youth tobacco survey (GYTS).
  22. Yu S, Koplan J, Eriksen MP, et al (2015). The effects of antismoking messages from family, school, and mass media on smoking behavior and smoking intention among Chinese Adolescents. J Health Commun, 20, 1255-63.