Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Despite increased public health knowledge about the adverse health effects of smoking, adolescents still experiment with tobacco use. Nationwide, the percentage of adolescents who smoke has increased during the1990s. The number of adolescents who started smoking increased by 30% and who started daily smoking increased by 50% between 1988 –1996. In California, the percentage of adolescents who smoke was stable from 1990 to 1993 but, since then, has been increasing. Cigarette smoking among White, Hispanic, and Asian adolescents is increasing more rapidly than that among Black adolescents.
Identifying different patterns of smoking progression is an important issue because such difference
have important implications for prevention and research. Adolescent smoking has been described as consisting of several stages (never smoke, preparatory, trial, experimental, regular use, and nicotine addiction), but not all adolescents smoke or progress from trial smoking to addictive use. Intentions and favorable attitudes toward use predict trial use; refusal self-efficacy may predict onset and escalation of smoking; peer and parent use appear to predict some progression beyond trial use, but predictors of addictive smoking are not altogether clear. Meanwhile, smoking prevention programs that have countered these personal and social influences have shown success in preventing onset and progression from trial to more regular use, but relatively little is known about the capacity of such programs to offset progression to addictive use. A study of the relationships of demographic, personal, and social factors to progression of smoking beyond trial use would help inform future prevention programs.
This study has the following specific aims: (a) to examine patterns of smoking development
Among California adolescents by gender and ethnicity; (b) to determine the relative importance of social influence, personal, and demographic factors in predicting development of adolescent smoking; (c) to test potential interactions among social influence and demographic predictors for development of adolescent smoking; and (d) to test potential indirect effects of social influences on development of adolescent smoking mediated through personal factors. The fulfillment of these specific aims will enhance our understanding of gender and race differences of smoking development and related risk factors in California adolescents.
This study will conduct further data analyses using the longitudinal data from an ongoing TRDRP funded tobacco prevention project (the Tobacco Program and Policy project, Pentz, PI) that has being been conducted among junior high school students in Orange County, California since 1997. A total of 2,335 students who completed all investigations at three time points will be analyzed. The investigated students comprise of 49.8% males and 50.2% females; 39.9% White - not Hispanic, 27.2% Hispanic, 16.2% Asian, 2.3% Black, and 14.4% others. This research will enhance our understanding of gender and race differences in smoking development, as well as explore ways to reduce tobacco dependence among diverse groups. The findings of this study will inform public health decision-making and improve smoking prevention strategies. |