236114 Sports participation, smoking risk factors, and cigarette smoking among adolescents: Implications for prevention

Monday, October 31, 2011

Darren Mays, PhD, MPH , Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Leslie Walker, MD , Division of Adolescent Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA
Anisha Abraham, MD, MPH , Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Kenneth Tercyak, PhD , Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Background: Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and preventing smoking among adolescents is a priority for comprehensive tobacco control. Sports participation positively contributes to youth development, but our understanding of how adolescent sports participation is related to cigarette smoking remains limited, including knowledge of potential smoking risk factors within this population. Methods: We investigated the relationship between sports participation and smoking behaviors in a sample of adolescents (n = 322) age 12 – 21 presenting for well-visit appointments at an adolescent medicine clinic in Washington, DC. Participants completed self-reported assessments of sports participation, smoking behaviors, and tobacco-related attitudes and exposure to family and peer smoking. Results: In bivariate analyses, sports participants were significantly less likely than nonparticipants to have ever smoked, smoked at age 13 or younger, been exposed to family and friends who smoked, and had less positive views towards the social effects of smoking (p < 0.01). In multivariate analyses, after accounting for demographics and smoking risk factors, sports participants were significantly less likely to have smoked at age 13 or younger (OR = 0.50, p < 0.05). Older age and exposure to family/friends who smoked were consistently the strongest predictors of smoking risk behaviors across multivariate models. Conclusions: Sports participants are less likely to report smoking risk behaviors, which may in part be explained by differential exposure to family/friends who smoke. Additional research to examine how the social contexts of sports participants and nonparticipants can be leveraged for smoking prevention is warranted.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the influence of sports participation on adolescents’ personal and social development. 2. Describe the relationship between organized sports participation and smoking behaviors among adolescents. 3. Articulate the implications for future adolescent smoking prevention research.

Keywords: Adolescents, Smoking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience in adolescent health promotion and behavioral sciences research, including research related to smoking, alcohol use, and other related behaviors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.