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Gaceta Sanitaria

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CORTES, Mònica; SCHIAFFINO, Anna; MARTI, Mercè  and  FERNANDEZ, Esteve. Cognitive factors associated with smoking initiation in adolescents. Gac Sanit [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.1, pp.36-44. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To study the association between cognitive factors of the behavioral change model «Attitude Self Efficacy» (ASE) at different phases of smoking initiation among adolescents. Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional survey among students in the second grade of Compulsory Secondary Education (13-14 years old) from Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain) in 2000 to obtain information on cognitive factors and smoking. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the variables associated with smoking (odds ratio [OR] of experimenters vs. non-smokers and of smokers vs. experimenters). Results: The prevalence of daily smoking was 22.9% (95% CI, 16.5%-29.3%) among boys and 36.2% (95% CI, 29.7%-42.6%) among girls. Factors associated with experimenting (vs. non-smoking) were: attitudes to smoking (disagreement with smoke-free areas [OR = 3.46; 95% CI, 1.65-7.24], agreement with smoking promotion [OR = 3.42; 95% CI, 1.42-8.28]), and subjective norms (perceiving friends as smokers [OR = 2.50; 95% CI, 1.17-5.35]). The variables associated with regular smoking (vs experimenting) belong to: self-efficacy and attitudes to smoking. Conclusions: Focussing on subjective norms and smoking attitudes with programs targetted younger ages seems appropriate, since these factors are more closely associated with the experimenting phase. Encouraging skills to refuse cigarettes offered by friends is appropriate at a more advanced age, since this determinant is associated with the change from experimenting to regular smoking.

Keywords : Cognitive determinants; Smoking initiation; Tobacco; Adolescents; Prevention; Survey.

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