A third of Guam students ages 13 to 15 reported using electronic cigarettes, according to the latest Global Youth Tobacco Survey factsheet.

That number dwarfs the number of traditional cigarette smokers, who accounted for nearly 11 percent of students surveyed.

Five public high schools and eight middle schools were part of the survey on Guam.

Access, availability

According to the survey, nearly 23 percent of current smokers purchased cigarettes from stores, shops, gas stations, flea markets or night markets – nearly 7 percentage points higher than the amount from the survey three years ago.

Moreover, among current cigarette smokers who had tried to purchase cigarettes, 47.7 percent were not stopped at the cash register despite their age. This represents a small decrease from a similar survey in 2014.

The 2014 survey did not have information on electronic cigarette use.

Fewer smokers tried to stop smoking within a year in 2017 compared to 2014, but the same amount, 57 percent, wanted to stop smoking right away.

There were fewer students exposed to secondhand smoke in 2017, about 40 percent compared to 44 percent in 2014.

Meanwhile, the number of students exposed to tobacco smoke inside enclosed public spaces remains nearly the same. Data from 2017 showed a slight decrease, 47.1 percent versus 48.3 percent of students in 2014.

The number of students who believed other people's smoking is harmful to them also decreased – by 10 percentage points. Sixty-seven percent of students believed others' smoking was harmful to them in 2014. About 57 percent believed the same three years later.

The Global Youth Tobacco Survey is a component of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, according to the Department of Public Health and Social Services. 

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