Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Tobacco use among high school students in Buenos Aires, Argentina

TitleTobacco use among high school students in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsMorello, P, Duggan, A, Adger H, J, Anthony, JC, Joffe, A
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
ISBN Number00900036 (ISSN)
KeywordsAdolescent, age, Age Distribution, Argentina, article, Attitude, attitude to health, calculation, Child, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Surveys, high school, human, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Motivation, peer group, Population Surveillance, Prevalence, questionnaire, Questionnaires, Regression Analysis, Risk Factors, Sex Distribution, smoking, smoking habit, student, Students, tobacco dependence, Urban Health

Objectives. This study assessed the prevalence and correlates of tobacco use among high school students in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Methods. Anonymous, self-administered questionnaires were given to 3909 8th and 11th graders in a stratified random sample of 49 public and private schools. The instrument included items from American surveys, translated and validated among Argentinean teens. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate possible effects on smoking behavior of environment, students' personal characteristics, and their knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes regarding smoking. Results. Of 8th and 11th graders, 20% and 43%, respectively, were classified as current smokers. Overall, 29% of males and 32% of females were current smokers. Students attending public schools were more likely to smoke than those in private schools (P<.05). Current smoking was associated with having a best friend who smokes, reporting that more than 50% of friends of the same sex smoke, having positive attitudes and beliefs toward smoking, and having a positive intention to smoke within the next year (all P<.001). Conclusions. Over 20% of the 8th graders in our sample were current smokers; prevention efforts must therefore start early.