A questionnaire relating to smoking habits, respirator symptoms, and health attitudes was administered to 10 498 secondary schoolchildren in 1975. The results reported in this paper indicate that children who smoke regularly have a higher prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections and a higher incidence of the respiratory symptoms, cough, phlegm production with a cold, and shortness of breath, compared with non-smokers. Children are aware of the risks of lung cancer when smoking, but less aware of the other more immediate health risks, and this is particularly so in the younger age groups. It is suggested that health education should be directed towards younger children and that more use should be made of the fact that smoking clearly makes them less healthy.
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