Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to use data collected in the 2001 and 2005 Lebanon Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) to monitor articles in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). This information is necessary to enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health and relevant organizations to design, implement, and evaluate tobacco control and prevention programs in Lebanon, especially among adolescents.
Methods: The GYTS is a school-based survey which uses a two-stage sample design to produce representative, independent, cross-sectional estimates. The GYTS was conducted in 2001 and 2005 in Lebanon to produce representative national estimates. Data in this report are limited to students aged 13-15 years. In total, 5035 students from 50 schools participated in 2001; and 3341 students from 50 schools participated in 2005.
Results: The data in this report show that, in 2005, 8.6% of the students currently smoked cigarettes, but 33.9% currently smoked narguileh. Half of current smokers wanted to stop smoking and 6 in 10 have tried to stop during the past year but have failed. In 2005, exposure to SHS at home (78.4%) and in public places (74.4%) was very high; while 85.2% thought smoking should be banned in public places. Nearly 9 in 10 students who usually buy their cigarettes in stores were not refused purchase because of their age. Overall, only half of the students in Lebanon reported that during the past school year they had been taught about the dangers of smoking.
Conclusions: Data in this report can be used as baseline measures for future evaluation of the tobacco control programs implemented by the Ministry of Health with particular attention to youth. The key for the Lebanese parliament is to develop, endorse, implement and enforce these new tobacco control laws and use the data from GYTS to monitor progress toward achieving the goals of the WHO FCTC. One key component of tobacco control needs to be the monitoring of Narguileh use among youth, a new emergency.