Smoking in adolescence do attitudes matter?

Addict Behav. 2001 Mar-Apr;26(2):201-17. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4603(00)00101-5.


A number of factors have emerged as being associated with adolescent smoking. While theoretical evidence suggests that attitude can be an important factor influencing smoking, empirical findings are somewhat contradictory. The main goal of the present study has been to identify the characteristics/dimensions of attitudes toward smoking in adolescence. Data were collected among primary (Grades 7-8), and secondary (Grades 9-12) school students using randomly selected classes in Szolnok, Hungary (N= 261). The self-administered questionnaire consisted of questions on sociodemographics, smoking behavior, beliefs, and attitudes related to smoking (items adapted from The Students' Health and Lifestyle Study developed by the research team of The University of Western Ontario, Canada). Factor analysis of the statements concerning smoking gave five factors: antismoking attitude, liking attitude, worrying attitude, disliking attitude, and unrealistic attitude. Antismoking attitude proved to be the most important influencing factor of tobacco use, which was greatly independent from the number of smoking friends in boys and older adolescents. However, peer smoking could definitely moderate this attitude and thus the linkage between attitude and smoking activity in girls and younger adolescents. Our findings support the idea that antismoking interventions can be adapted to the target groups as programs may have different impact on boys and girls and on different age groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Attitude
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hungary / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Peer Group
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires