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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Understanding adolescent non-smokers: Reasons for currently not smoking and susceptibility to smoking in future

Weihong Chen, PhD, Candidate, School of Nursing, The University of British Columbia, Canada, T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T1N6, Canada, Joan L. Bottorff, PhD, RN, Faculty of Health & Social Development, University of British Colombia Okanogan, 3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada, and Joy Johnson, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, The University of British Columbia, #302 - 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.

Objective: A better understanding of adolescent non-smokers and susceptibility to smoking could be used to target enhance the effectiveness of prevention programs. The objective of this study was to understand adolescent non-smokers in terms of their reasons for abstaining from smoking and their susceptibility to smoking in future.

Methods: This research employed a secondary analysis of data from students participating in the British Columbia Youth Survey on Smoking and Health in 2001/2002, which took place in two regions of British Columbia, Canada. The final sample included 1,870 grade 10 and grade 11 students who were non smokers with either White or Chinese ethnic background.

Results: Although the majority of non-smokers (85%) reported that the negative consequences of smoking was their primary reason for not smoking, significant differences were found between White and Chinese subgroups as well as between boys and girls. The prevalence of susceptibility to smoking was 27.7% among the total sample. There were more susceptible students in grade 10 than in grade 11, and more susceptible girls than susceptible boys. The interaction between gender and ethnicity on the susceptibility to smoking was also examined. These findings provided a better understanding of adolescent non-smokers and their cognitive predisposition to smoking. Knowledge obtained from this study can be used to guide the development of tailored prevention interventions.