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Cas Lek Cesk. 2012;151(3):141-8.

[Factors influencing the experimentation with smoking: observed in ELSPAC Study].

[Article in Czech]

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  • 1Masarykova univerzita v Brne, Lékarská fakulta, Ustav preventivniho Iékarství.



The causes of children' and adolescents' smoking, along with mechanisms which lead to addiction, include both genetic and environmental factors: individual, social and societal. The European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ELSPAC) collects data about the cohort of children from Brno and district Znojmo at scheduled stages from 18th week of prenatal to 19th year of age, using an international standardized questionnaire set. At the age of eleven the children first reported information on themselves. The aim of this study was to analyse different life conditions of 11-year-old children from Brno with different smoking behaviour.


Respondents filled in at home a questionnaire; according which they could be personally identified, and their answers reviewed by parents. These conditions could influence the truthfulness of statements. The cohort of 2160 children was divided into the 3 groups: never smokers (79.8%), with one single attempt (15.3%) and repeatedly smoking children (4.9%). The differences were evaluated using standard statistical tests. An important part of the reviewed population experimented with legal drugs: cigarette smoking (20%) and alcohol drinking (one third of never smoking and three quarters of smoking children); there were also sporadic experiments with other psychotropic substances. The age of 9-10 years was critical for the majority of children in relation to their first experiments with addictive drugs. Smoking children were more often exposed to passive smoking, they lived in substitute or non-harmonic families, had the worse relations to school and poorer school results, their leisure time was useless. They had more health problems and some conduct disorders.


Data obtained from 11-year-aged children from the ELSPAC study have confirmed that in the Czech Republic legal drugs are easily available for young-school aged children, and inadequate attention is addressed to realisation of some goals of the National Programme Health 21.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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