Early adolescent patterns of alcohol and tobacco use in eight association of South-East Asian nations (ASEAN) member states
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Though alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly used substances among adolescents, little is known about the patterning of early adolescent substance use in Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. This study examined past month patterns of substances use and its gender difference among adolescents. Cross-sectional samples among adolescents aged 13-16 years who completed the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) from eight ASEAN countries were included in the analysis (n=40,212). Results: Prevalence of past month any tobacco use was relatively high in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines (11-15%), but prevalence of dual cigarette and other forms of tobacco use was about 2-5% in the five countries. Past month alcohol consumption prevalence was also high in Thailand, Viet Nam, and the Philippines (16-24%), compared to the rest countries (1.4-8.2%). Moreover, prevalence of the concurrent alcohol and tobacco use was higher in Thailand and the Philippines (7 and 10%, respectively), particularly in boys (13 and 15%, respectively). Almost 30-40% of the boys and 10-20% of girls in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam are engaged in at least one of the two risk behaviors, and the concurrent alcohol and tobacco use was also relatively high among boys in those countries (5-15%). This study may provide some valuable insights on alcohol and tobacco policy in the region and requires to begin prevention and treatment programs in ASEAN member states.