Smoking rates in Pacific islands

J. Tuomilehto, P. Zimmet, R. Taylor, P. Bennet, E. Wolf, J. Kankaanpää

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The study reports data on the prevalence of smoking in the following Pacific islands: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Tuvalu, and Western Samoa. A large variation was found in the prevalence of smoking among the populations surveyed. On Kiribati, for example, almost 90% of men and 74% of women were daily smokers, whereas on the Cook Islands 38% of men and 19% of women smoked. In contrast, less than 4% of the female population of Fiji smoked. Smoking was usually more common in rural than urban areas. More data, especially on trends in the prevalence of smoking in these populations, are needed to implement effective anti-smoking policies and to evaluate their outcome. It is well known that there is a high risk of chronic, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and diabetes among many Pacific populations. Prevention and control of major epidemics of these diseases in the Pacific islands must therefore be based on urgent steps directed at reducing the prevalence of smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-456
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Tuomilehto, J., Zimmet, P., Taylor, R., Bennet, P., Wolf, E., & Kankaanpää, J. (1986). Smoking rates in Pacific islands. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 64(3), 447-456.