Marijuana smoking among school-aged adolescents in the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina: A crosssectional study
Keywords:Marijuana smoking, Adolescence, Epidemiology
Objective. The aim was to determine the prevalence of marijuana smoking among school-aged adolescents in the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with particular regard to their gender, age and residence, and the frequency of marijuana smoking in the past thirty days in relation to their peers in the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia. Subjects and methods. This research, designed as a cross-sectional study and based on the ESPAD (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs) questionnaire, adjusted to this research, encompassed 4,188 adolescents from elementary and secondary schools. The data were collected by means of questionnaires tailored to each respondent. Results. A significantly lower number of adolescents smoke marijuana in comparison to those who do not smoke, but male adolescents smoke more often than female adolescents (p<0.001), as well as urban youth in comparison to rural youth (p=0.04). Every fourth adolescent, regardless of gender, who smoked marijuana, used it before the age of thirteen (p<0.001), male adolescents more often than females (p=0.002). In the previous thirty days a higher percentage of all the respondents from the Brčko District had smoked marijuana than those from the Republika Srpska and the RS (p<0.001), and there is no difference between them and their peers from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the RC (p=0.382 and p=0.608). Conclusion. Smoking marijuana in the Brčko District is a major public health problem. Male adolescents smoke marijuana more often than female adolescents, and urban youth more in comparison to rural youth. In the previous thirty days adolescents from the Brčko District smoked more often than their peers from the Republic of Serbia and the Republika Srpska, and with the same intensity but less frequently compared to adolescents from the Republic of Croatia and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.