Assessment of the validity of self-reported smoking status among schoolchildren in Sousse, Tunisia

Jihene Maatoug, Jihene Sahli, Imed Harrabi, Firas Chouikha, Sonia Hmad, Emna Dendana, Sihem Ben Fredj, Slim Slama, Mustafa Al'Absi, Harry Lando, Hassen Ghannem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Tobacco use, which begins in adolescence and childhood and continues in later life, is the major avoidable risk for non-communicable diseases and death in the world. Self-reports have frequently been used to estimate smoking prevalence and health consequences. This study explores the validity of self-reports of smoking behavior among schoolchildren in Tunisia. Materials and methods: This study was conducted in March 2014 among a sample of 147 schoolchildren randomly selected. Data concerning the smoking habit were collected by a questionnaire designed for the purposes of this work. Then, exhaled CO, a biochemical marker of smoke exposure, was measured using piCO+ Smokerlyzer® breath CO monitor among participants. Sensitivity and specificity of self-reports were calculated. Results: The prevalence of reported smoking was 9.5% with 16.7% and 1.7% respectively among boys and girls. Their mean age was 14.5±1.28 years old. When considering 4 ppm as the cut-off level of breath CO, sensitivity and specificity of self-reports were 100% and 93.7%, respectively. But at a breath CO cut-off of 3 ppm, self-reporting was 62.5% sensitive and 93.5% specific. Conclusion: According to our findings, we suggest that self-reports can be considered as a good tool to be used with a reasonable confidence to assess the smoking status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by De Gruyter 2016.


  • Carbone monoxide
  • Self-report
  • Smoking


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