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Each year about 200 000 young people commence smoking in the UK. Most regular smokers report starting in their teens, and health education designed for smoking cessation among schoolchildren should identify and take into account the contributory factors for tobacco use. We used a cross-sectional anonymous survey of 693 schoolchildren (aged 11-16 years, 47% boys) in Leicester. This survey was delivered in schools in Leicester in March 2011. There are significant differences between different ethnic and religious groups and between the sexes with regard to smoking behaviour, with higher smoking rates in girls, those from white British ethnic groups and those with no stated religion. There are no differences with regard to knowledge, attitudes or beliefs. Smoking behaviour is not explained by attitude or knowledge. Cultural factors are important in determining the risk of smoking; young people who are white British, those who are female and those with no religion have higher smoking rates in Leicester. © 2013 Radcliffe Publishing.


Journal article


Diversity and Equality in Health and Care

Publication Date





31 - 40