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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2011 Aug;59(4):270-6. doi: 10.1016/j.respe.2011.02.101. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

[Tobacco use characteristics among apprentices in Vocational Centers].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Inserm, Nancy, France.



Most smokers start smoking during adolescence and become dependent before 20 years old. In France, vocational trainees are a population not much explored. The objective of our study is to present tobacco use characteristics among apprentices in Vocational Centers (VC).


This cross-sectional exhaustive study covered 1814 students (among whose 943 smokers) entering in a 1st year of the eight participating Vocational Centers in the Lorraine region (Eastern France, 2.3 million inhabitants, 16,500 vocational trainees), during the school years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Data collection concerned the sociocultural environment, tobacco use habits, degree of dependency to tobacco and co-addictions.


Among the study population, 52.0% declared they were smokers among whom 89.4% daily smokers, and 5.7% were ex-smokers. The average age of tobacco use initiation was 12.1 years (standard deviation [SD]=2.1) and the average age at inception of regular cigarette smoking was 13.8 years (SD=1.6). Current consumption of the smokers was 12.8 cigarettes per day (SD=7.8). The average score of smoking addiction was 6.1 (SD=2.8), according to the Hooked On Nicotine checklist test (score from 0 to 10=strongly dependent). Finally, 37.1% of students (58.9% among smokers) smoked or have smoked cannabis.


The high prevalence of smoking in Vocational Centers, the early start of tobacco use and the high tobacco consumption among apprentices show that they are overexposed compared to the general population of adolescents. In addition, these young people are already dependant to tobacco use. This underlines the need of specific measures dedicated to this population that amounts to 361,500 individuals in France.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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