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Gauging Percentage of Child Smokers

The ministries of education and health launched a survey on Monday to determine the prevalence of among schoolchildren across the Kingdom.

The survey, which will include 2,300 students in 50 public schools across the Kingdom, aims at finding ways to combat smoking in schools, according to Malek Habashneh, director of the Health Ministry’s awareness department.

Habashneh said he expects the survey, which is conducted every three years, to reveal an increase in smoking among schoolchildren.

The last survey, conducted in 2006, showed that 27 per cent of students smoked. According to the three-year-old study, 37 per cent of male students were found to be smokers and 26 per cent of females.

“We expect the survey results to show an increase in smoking among both male and female students,” Habashneh told the press yesterday, attributing the anticipated increase to the rising popularity of argileh (water pipe).

According to the UN’s “Global Youth Tobacco Survey”, 12.7 per cent of UNRWA students in Jordan smoke cigarettes, while 13.2 per cent use other forms of tobacco.

Nearly one in five students smoke argileh; 25.4 per cent of boys and 12.9 per cent of girls, according to the study, which was conducted by the UN agency in 20 UNRWA schools across the Kingdom.

More than half of the students surveyed said they had parents who smoke, the report stated.

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