Risk and Protective Factors for Cigarette Use in Young Adolescents in a School Setting: What Could Be Done Better?

PLoS One 2015; 10: e0129628

Author

Dahlui M, Jahan NK, Majid HA, Jalaludin MY, Murray L, Cantwell M, Su TT, Al-Sadat N

Abstract

Smoking among Malaysian adolescents remains a public health concern despite concerted efforts in tobacco control. The aims of this study were to examine the prevalence and determinants of current-smoking status in young adolescents. This cross sectional study used the first round of the Malaysian Health and Adolescents Research Team's prospective cohort study. It was conducted in three States of the Central and Northern regions of Peninsular Malaysia between March and May 2012. The study used the multistage stratified sampling design. A total of 1,342 adolescents of both sexes, aged 12-13 years, were sampled from randomly selected urban and rural national schools. Information on current smoking status and associated factors were collected by a self-administered, pre-tested, validated, structured questionnaire. Seven percent of the samples were current-smokers; the majority (62%) of them started smoking at the age of 11 years or below. The prevalence of current smoking was significantly higher in males (odds ratio [OR] = 2.37; 95% CI: 1.46, 3.84), those who were influenced by smoker friends (OR = 8.35; 95% CI: 4.90, 14.25), who were unaware of the health risks of smoking (OR =1.85; 95% CI: 1.02, 3.36) and who reported a lack of satisfaction about their overall life (OR =3.26; 95% CI: 1.73, 6.12). The study findings provide valuable information to strengthen the existing school-based smoking prevention program through integration of social competence and social influence curricula. The program should empower the young adolescents to refuse tobacco offers, to overcome social influences and to resist peer pressure to avoid starting smoking. Particular focuses to include mental health service to prevent both emotional and behavioural problems are needed.


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