In 2004, Peru ratified the Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and in 2006 passed Law 28705 for tobacco consumption and exposure reduction. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) provides data on youth tobacco use for development of tobacco control programs. Findings from the GYTS conducted in four main cities in Peru in 2000 and 2003 are reported in this paper and can be used to monitor provisions of the WHO FCTC.
The GYTS is a school-based survey that uses a standardized methodology for sampling, questionnaire construction, field procedures, and data management. In total, 5,332 and 7,824 students aged 13 to 15 years participated in the 2000 and 2003 surveys conducted in Huancayo, Lima, Tarapoto and Trujillo.
In both years, Lima had the highest lifetime (54.6% and 59.6%) and current use of tobacco (18.6% and 19.2%) of the four cities. According to gender, boys smoked more than girls and less than 20% of students initiated smoking before the age of 10. Among smokers, more than 60% bought their cigarettes in a store with no restriction for their age, and approximately 12% had ever been offered "free cigarettes". Around 90% of students were in favor of banning smoking in public places. Changes between 2000 and 2003 included an increase in the percentage of smokers who wanted to have a cigarette first thing in the morning in Tarapoto (from 0% to 1.2%) and a decrease in exposure to tobacco at home in Huancayo (from 23.7% to 17.8%) and Trujillo (from 27.8% to 19.8%)
While few changes in tobacco use among youth have been observed in the GYTS in Peru, the data in this report can be used as baseline measures for future evaluation efforts. At this time, tobacco control efforts in Peru need to focus on enhancing Law 28705 to include enforcement of existing provisions and inclusion of new laws and regulations. Most of these provisions are required of all countries, such as Peru, that have ratified the WHO FCTC.