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Prev Chronic Dis. 2015 Dec 3;12:E212. doi: 10.5888/pcd12.150155.

Tobacco Smoking in Islands of the Pacific Region, 2001-2013.

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Public Health Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, BP D5 98848, Noumea, New Caledonia. Email:
Public Health Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.
University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


We provide an overview of tobacco smoking patterns in Pacific island countries and territories to facilitate monitoring progress toward the goal of a Tobacco-Free Pacific by 2025. We examined data from 4 surveys conducted in the region between 2001 and 2013, including the STEPwise approach to surveillance for adults (25-64 years); the Global School-Based Student Health Survey and the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (students 13-15 years); and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (grade 9-12 students) in United States affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPIs). Adult smoking prevalence ranged from less than 5% of women in Vanuatu to almost 75% of men in Kiribati. Smoking prevalence among students (13-15 years) ranged between 5.6% and 52.1%. There were declines in smoking among youths in many USAPIs. To achieve the tobacco-free goal and reduce disease burden, accelerated action is needed to align national legislation with international agreements and build capacity for tobacco control at all levels.

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