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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2017 Sep;25(3):206-210. doi: 10.21101/cejph.a4634.

Brand Awareness and Access to Cigarettes among Children 8-12 Years Old in the Czech Republic.

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Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.
Centre for Tobacco-Dependent, 3rd Medical Department - Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.



The aim of the study is to assess smoking behaviour, knowledge of cigarette brands and access to cigarettes among children 8-12 years old in the Czech Republic.


Between 2009 and 2012, a cross sectional survey was conducted among 4,439 children aged 8-12 years attending 51 primary schools in Prague and Central Bohemia, Czech Republic. Data including age, gender, ever smoking, parental and sibling smoking, knowledge of cigarette brands, sources of cigarettes, and smoking frequency were collected.


Fifty nine percent of all children could name one or more cigarette brands, 62.8% of boys and 55.3% of girls (p<0.01). The most well-known brands were Marlboro and the local brand Petra. Marlboro was better known among boys, while Petra was more known among girls. Children whose parents smoke showed higher brand awareness than children with non-smoking parents, 72.5% and 45.6%, respectively (p<0.001), and 76.4% of children reported one or more possible sources where to obtain cigarettes. Nearly one quarter (23.3%) of children had ever tried cigarettes, water pipe, cigars, or marijuana. Nearly half of all children (43.1%) reported that they had obtained their first cigarette from a relative or at home, and the second most frequent source were their peers (22.8%). Only 3.9% of children reported that they had purchased their first cigarettes. Relatives were the main source of cigarettes among children that reported smoking more than once.


The high level of cigarette brand awareness and ever smoking provide evidence that tobacco control policies in the Czech Republic do not adequately protect children. Tougher legislation and effective strategies in accordance with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are therefore required to better protect children from harmful effects of smoking and the influence of tobacco industry in the Czech Republic.


access to cigarettes; brand awareness; children; tobacco control

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