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Bull World Health Organ. 1986;64(3):447-56.

Smoking rates in Pacific islands.

Abstract

PIP:

This study collected data on rates of cigarette smoking in the following Pacific Islands: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Tuvalu, and Western Samoa. The data were collected in 1975-81 as part of a diabetes-cardiovascular diseases survey. A large variation in the prevalence of smoking was found in the populations surveyed. 90% of men and 74% of women on Kiribati were daily smokers compared with 38% of men and 19% of women on the Cook Islands and only 4% of the female population of Fiji. There was no association between age and the prevalence of smoking. Smoking tended to be more common in rural areas than urban areas and was higher among men than women in all populations studied. For both men and women, the prevalence of smoking was higher among lower income groups and those who reported moderate or heavy alcohol consumption. There was no clear association between smoking and marital status. Overall, the data on the prevalence of cigarette smoking indicate that this has become a significant public health problem in Pacific island communities. The data further suggest that the prevalence of smoking differs markedly in culturally and ethnically different populations. Somewhat unexpected was the greater proportion of smokers among traditional communities in rural areas compared with urban areas. This finding can be explained in part by the widespread practice of cultivating tobacco in many rural areas of the Pacific. It is recommended that a reliable survey of smoking patterns in the Pacific islands and prospective surveys that correlate the results of such a study with the distribution of cardiovascular diseases and cancer be conducted.

PMID:
3490322
PMCID:
PMC2490871
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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