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Smoking prevalence and tobacco use determinants in Mexican youth

Isabel Hernández-Ramos, MD MPH1, Raydel Valdés-Salgado, MA1, James F Thrasher, MS, MA2, Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, MD, PhD3, and Mauricio Hernández-Ávila, MD MSc ScD4. (1) Department of Tobacco Research, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Av. Universidad # 655, Col. Sta. Ma. Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, 62508, Mexico, (2) Health Behavior and Health Education, CB#7440, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440, (919)960-8512, thrasher@email.unc.edu, (3) Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Avenida Universidad No. 655, Cuernavaca, Mexico, (4) Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Av. Universidad 655, Col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, 62508, Mexico

Cross-sectional data from the 2003 Global Youth Tobacco Survey were used to estimate the prevalence and determinants of tobacco use among adolescents enrolled in Mexican secondary schools. We report data from 4,158 students from two regions: Mexico City and Guadalajara. Estimates adjust for the study design and sampling weights. Final analyses will include data from all 8 regions to generate nationally representative estimates. Students were mostly 12-15 years old (89.8%), and 50% were men. Among the 52.9% who reported ever smoking, most (68.8%) had smoked before age 13, mostly out of curiosity (85%). One-fourth (25.4%) of never smokers were susceptible to initiating smoking the following year. One-fifth of students (20.2%) had smoked in the last month, 90% of whom thought could quit smoking if they wanted to. Nevertheless, 56.8% of current smokers unsuccessfully tried to quit during the previous year. Smokers mostly bought their own cigarettes (38%) or borrowed them from friends (33%). Smoking behavior was positively associated with grade, parental smoking, friends’ smoking, exposure to smoke at home and in public places, offers of free cigarettes, and ownership of objects with cigarette brand logos. Students’ perceptions of the social imagery around smoking (e.g., perceived attractiveness, intelligence) differed by gender of the smoker. Less than half of the students had been exposed to anti-tobacco education at school, while exposure to pro-tobacco influences through advertising was substantial (73-87%). Overall, these results suggest that the tobacco control environment in Mexico may need to be strengthened to combat tobacco use among adolescents.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Adolescents, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

International Tobacco Poster Session

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA