Emergent cigarette smoking, correlations with depression and interest in cessation among aboriginal adolescents in British Columbia

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Objectives: To describe smoking rates, age of initiation, and smoking cessation efforts among Aboriginal adolescent girls and boys in British Columbia, and examine the relationships between cigarette smoking and socio-demographic characteristics, depression and domains of life satisfaction. Methods: A secondary analysis was conducted of data collected from the British Columbia Youth Survey on Smoking and Health II measuring demographic and social factors, previous smoking experience, life satisfaction and depression. Data were analyzed from respondents who self-identified as Aboriginal, and by gender. Logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for current cigarette smoking. Results: The average age of respondents was 15 years (SD=1.7) and 51% were female. Current cigarette smoking was 31%, with a mean age of initiation to smoking of 11 years (SD=3). On average, smokers consumed 3.8 cigarettes each day (SD=5.7), with most smokers (78%) reporting that they had seriously thought about quitting. More girls smoked than boys but girls smoked fewer cigarettes. As depression scores (CESD) increased, so did smoking among respondents; and as life satisfaction decreased, smoking increased. Having a best friend who smokes was the most powerful predictor of current smoking, increasing the odds of being a smoker by a factor of 5.9. Discussion: Although rates of tobacco smoking among respondents are high, there is considerable interest in cessation among current smokers. Recognizing that these youth are motivated to quit smoking, cessation programs may increase success by addressing peer smoking in prevention and cessation initiatives and including culturally appropriate strategies to promote mental health.

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Journal Article

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