Tobacco use among male and female adolescents in public and private schools in Bahrain
Tobacco use is often initiated during adolescence. The goal of the study was to compare the tobacco use prevalence among male and female adolescents attending public and private schools in Bahrain. Cross-sectional nationally representative data were analysed from 7,141 adolescents (14 years median age), 3,385 from public or government schools and 3,756 from private schools, that participated in the “2016 Bahrain Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS).” Tobacco use and other variables were assessed with a self-administered questionnaire administered in a classroom. Results indicate that among boys the prevalence of current cigarette smoking was 30.2% attending public schools and 7.3% in private schools, and 5.9% in girls attending public schools and 3.2% in private schools. Current other tobacco use was 29.4% among boys in public and 10.1% in private schools, while among girls this was 10.0% in public and 6.6% in private schools. In adjusted logistic regression, compared with students in private schools, being in a public school was associated with the increased odds of ever smoking, current cigarette smoking, current other tobacco use and current (any) tobacco use. Attending public schools was associated with a 3.8 higher odds among boys and 1.6 higher odds among girls of current tobacco use than attending private schools. Effective tobacco use prevention interventions are needed, in particular in public secondary schools in Bahrain.
Key words: tobacco use, adolescents, public schools, private schools, Bahrain