The evolution of perceptions about alcohol and smoking and their actual use by adolescents in Barcelona (Spain) between 1987 and 1992 are presented. Data were obtained from two surveys based on samples of 8th-grade schoolchildren (13-14 years old). Current smoking does not show significant changes (with 10.7% reporting being regular smokers in 1992), and smoking expectations decline for boys (but not for girls). In 1992, 38.9% of students reported that their fathers smoke (a lower figure than the 49.8% reported in 1987), but mothers are reported to be smokers by 20.9% (more than the 15.3% reported in the previous survey). Concerning alcohol, fewer students in 1992 reported daily drinking (1.8% of all surveyed students) and usual drinking (8.7%), while more reported having ever become drunk (22.4%), and no significant changes are seen for perceptions of alcohol use except for a modest decline in the proportion who reported having an older sibling who drinks usually. Overall, these results suggest that smoking incidence among 8th graders has not declined, while changes are taking place in smoking prevalence in the adult population. They also suggest that daily consumption of alcohol has decreased, while alcohol abuse may have increased, a trend that may be linked with changing patterns of alcohol use in southern European countries like Spain. These data provide a perspective on secular trends for tobacco and alcohol use in Barcelona, and the baseline for the evalution of interventions targeting adolescents and implemented in the city since 1992.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health