Adolescent Smoking in Wuhan, China: Baseline Data from the Wuhan Smoking Prevention Trial

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Background: This study reports the prevalence of adolescent smoking in the urban and rural areas of Wuhan, China, the capital of Hubei Province, on the Yangtze River in central China.

Methods: Smoking behavior was examined by age, gender, and urbanicity as part of the Wuhan Smoking Prevention Trial. Subjects included 6994 seventh- to ninth-grade students attending 22 randomly selected schools in urban and rural districts. Outcome measures included lifetime smoking, past-30-day smoking, established smoking (>100 cigarettes in lifetime), and susceptibility to smoking (absence of a firm commitment not to smoke).

Results: Lifetime smoking prevalence was 47% among boys and 18% among girls. Past-30-day smoking prevalence was 16% among boys and 4% among girls. Established smoking prevalence was 2% among boys and 0% among girls. The prevalence of susceptibility to smoking was 31% among boys and 10% among girls. Smoking increased significantly with age (p<.0005). Susceptibility was more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas (p<.05), but there were no urban-rural differences in lifetime, past 30-day smoking, or established smoking. Trend analyses revealed that smoking increased with age more rapidly among boys than among girls (p<.05). Smoking was more prevalent among rural boys than among urban boys, but it was more prevalent among urban girls than among rural girls (p<.05).

Conclusions: Adolescent smoking is a significant public health problem in China. Boys are at particularly high risk, as are girls living in urban areas. Effective smoking prevention programs for adolescents, as well as restrictions on tobacco industry marketing and youth access to tobacco, are needed to prevent tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in China.

Rights Information

© 2001 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc.