Half of all 15-year-olds who smoke are in the process of kicking the habit, according to a study conducted in 2017, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention director Paula Vassallo said.

The data shows that of the 15-year-olds who smoke, 50 per cent have tried to quit while the rest were in the process of quitting.

Around 120 15-year-olds smoke, according to the 2014 statistics, Dr Vassallo said.

The results from the recent health behaviour study are encouraging as they show youth are informed of the drawbacks of smoking, she added.

Dr Vassallo presented the statistics during a press conference launching a campaign to encourage youth to refrain from smoking.

Several youth organisations, including the Malta Medical Students’ Association and the Malta Health Students’ Association, are also endorsing the campaign, which will feature several advertisements running on television, radio and social media.

Tobacco is the largest preventable risk associated with cancer, Tobacco Cessation Officer Joseph Grech.

Tobacco has other drawbacks- those who smoke a packet of cigarettes a day can spend up to €2000 annually, Mr Grech said.


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