TOBACCO AND ENERGY DRINKS USE AMONG PALESTINIAN YOUTH FEMALES, CALL FOR ACTION
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Background: Smoking is a major single cause of preventable morbidity and premature mortality. It is playing a direct role in the incidence of lung cancer among Palestinian females. Tracking emerged psychoactive substances among adolescents is important for policy makers in order to investigate the circumstances and the impact of these substances. Females are of particular interest. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of tobacco smoking, cigarettes and water pipe, and energy drinks intake among 10th grade female students and to examine risk factors associations with their use. This cross-sectional study was done in 2016. Female, 10th grade students (N=403), from the north of the West Bank were recruited randomly to fill out a self-administered questionnaire. Results: 18.1% of girls were current cigarette tobacco smokers, 36.1% current water pipe smokers, 16.2% current tobacco smokers, 41.4% current EDs users, and 29.7% current tobacco smokers and EDs consumers in combination. Moreover, 38.5%, 38.7%, 59.7% had tried cigarette, water pipe, EDs at least once in their life, respectively. Moreover, 15.7% and 29.2% intended to smoke tobacco and to intake EDs, respectively. Most of girls were knowledgeable about the danger of using tobacco but not water pipe smoking and EDs intake. Curiosity was the most frequent motivation for use. Girls with life time EDs intake were around nine times more likely to smoke than none users. The majority of girls disagreed with banning water pipe smoking (83.4%) and EDs (74.3%) intake. The mean initiation age was 12.6, 13.6, and 14.0 years old for energy drinks, cigarette smoking, and water pipe smoke, respectively. Conclusion: Tobacco smoke and EDs intake have reached alarming rates among Palestinian youth females. Factors interplayed in the prevalence of these substances were social/peer interactions, limited knowledge to the danger of these substances, and easy access to them. Factors determined the danger of using them were initiation age, frequency of use, and using them in combination. The finding of this study showed the need for authorities to act quickly to restrain smoking rates and EDs intake among youth females. This highlights the need to develop effective prevention and cessation strategies.