40% of Russian boys are smokers by age 19

Among Russian young people up to age 19, more than 40% of boys and 7% of girls are smokers. The figures were announced today at a press conference by Galina Maslennikova, lead scientific associate of the State Research Center for Preventive Medicine of the Russian Health Ministry, Rosbalt reported. On average, she said, teens smoke 12 cigarets a day. She said the figures are worst at profession-oriented schools, where 75% of boys and 64% of the girls smoke. One out of 10, she said, has a serious dependency on tobacco.

Maslennikova said teenagers smoke to relax, to calm down, to look like adults and to show independence. Abetting the spread of smoking, she said, are billboard and movie theater ads for cigarets, the unhindered sale of cigarets to juveniles as well as the widespread habit of smoking among adults (parents, teachers, medical personnel).

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