Differences by gender and education in responding to tobacco control measures implemented in Ukraine since 2005
BACKGROUND: Socially disadvantaged population groups are known to be less responsive to tobacco control policies. The objective of the study was to consider changes in smoking prevalence, exposure to secondhand smoke and tobacco advertising, as well as tobacco-related knowledge by gender and education groups in Ukraine after the implementation of tobacco control policies since 2006.
METHODS: Prevalence of daily smoking was compared in 2000, 2005, and 2010. Data on tobacco awareness, exposure to SHS and tobacco advertising were available from the surveys conducted in 2005 and 2010.
RESULTS: The decline in smoking prevalence in 2005-2010 was similar for men and women with different levels of education. Men with university education have lower smoking rates than other men. Women with less than secondary education had the lowest smoking rates which keep consistently low over time. Secondhand smoke and tobacco advertising exposure declined similarly across gender and education. Knowledge about tobacco-related health hazards increased more substantially in lower educated groups.
CONCLUSIONS: All demographic groups in Ukraine revealed decline in smoking prevalence, exposure to SHS and the tobacco advertising as well as increase of tobacco-related health knowledge in response to tobacco control policies. Lower educated groups were more responsive to tobacco control policies than it was expected based on findings from high-income countries. In such countries as Ukraine comprehensive tobacco control measures are beneficial for all social groups and could lead to quick decline in prevalence of active and passive smoking.
KEYWORDS: smoking; smoking prevalence; exposure to secondhand smoke; tobacco advertising; tobacco-related knowledge; education gradient; Ukraine.
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