Smoking onset takes place in the early years of adolescence, and can be seen as a progression through stages of preparation, trying, experimentation, regular smoking and nicotine dependence or addiction. The objective of this study is to identify 1-year predictors of smoking consolidation among occasional smokers (experimenters) and of cessation among all smokers. A questionnaire developed to monitor trends in smoking and other health-related behaviors was administered in the spring of 1992 and again 1 year later (1993). The survey was carried out in six large, private schools in Barcelona and Raimat, in the Lleida province, in Catalonia (Spain). In total, 1460 schoolchildren aged 12-19 responded to both the baseline and follow-up questionnaires; 1236 questionnaires (84.7%) were matched through a personal code and were used for the longitudinal study. At the baseline survey 28% of the schoolchildren were regular smokers and 17.1% were occasional smokers, with no differences by gender. At the follow-up survey, progression from occasional to regular smoking was observed in 42% of the girls and 22.7% of the boys. Other predictors of consolidation included drinking alcohol (OR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.1-10.1) and reporting the intention to smoke in the future (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.3-4.9). Among all the smokers at the baseline, predictors of cessation were smoking occasionally (versus regularly) (OR = 4.9; 95% CI = 2.8-8.6), negative attitudes regarding smoking (OR = 3.3; 95% CI = 1.9-5.4), reporting no intention to smoke in the future (OR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.3-3.8), gender (OR for boys = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.2-3.6), receiving weekly pocket less than 1000 ptas (OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.1-5.3) and age (OR for being 15 and younger = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.1-4.9). We conclude that consolidation of smoking is twice as likely among girls than among boys. Intention to smoke seems to be a good predictor of future behavior, while attitudes may predict cessation, but not consolidation. Available pocket money seems to be a strong risk factor for smoking at this age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health