Factors Related to Smoking Habits of Male Adolescents
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Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Malaysia
Nyi Nyi Naing   

Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian Kelantan, Malaysia
Publication date: 2004-09-15
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2004;2(September):133
A cross-sectional study was conducted to identify the factors related to smoking habits of adolescents among secondary school boys in Kelantan state, Malaysia. A total of 451 upper secondary male students from day, boarding and vocational schools were investigated using a structured questionnaire. Cluster sampling was applied to achieve the required sample size. The significant findings included: 1) the highest prevalence of smoking was found among schoolboys from the vocational school; 2) mean duration of smoking was 2.5 years; 3) there were significant associations between smoking status and parents' smoking history, academic performance, perception of the health hazards of smoking, and type of school attended. Peer influence was the major reason students gave for taking up the habit. Religion was most often indicated by non-smokers as their reason for not smoking. Approximately 3/5 of the smokers had considered quitting and 45% of them had tried at least once to stop smoking. Mass media was indicated as the best information source for the students to acquire knowledge about negative aspects of the smoking habit. The authors believe an epidemic of tobacco use is imminent if drastic action is not taken, and recommend that anti-smoking campaigns with an emphasis on the religious aspect should start as early as in primary school. Intervention programs to encourage behavior modification of adolescents are also recommended.
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