To assess the smoking precalence among adoloscents in the USA and the USSR, students in Moscow and Minneapolis were surveyed by common protocol and identically trained staff. Smoking habits were measured by a self-report questionnaire and an expired air sample of carbon monoxide (CO). Significant gender differences were found between the two national groups. Among girls in the USA, there was a significantly higher rate of weekly smoking as compared to girls in the USSR. Among boys in the USSR as compared to those in the USA, there was a signigicantly higher rate of ever smokers and daily smokers, but also of ex-smokers. These gender differences may reflact cultutral differences in smoking patterns between the two countries. Cigarette smoking is clearly a public health problem in both countries with its onset in adolescence.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This research was supported by a University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Biomedical Research Support Grant (2S07-RR05448). The data were collected as part of the Cooperative Study on the Epidemiology of Juvenile Hypertension (US-USSR Study).