Smoking acquisition among adolescents and young Latinas: the role of socioenvironmental and personal factors

Addict Behav. 2001 Jul-Aug;26(4):531-50. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4603(00)00143-x.


This paper examined the effects of socioenvironmental and personal factors on two stages of the smoking continuum--onset of smoking and regular smoking--among a sample of 1411 Latina clients, ages 14-24, at two federally funded family planning clinics. The socioenvironmental factors included cultural indicators, smoking behavior of family and peers, and norms. The personal factors were risk-taking behaviors and intention to smoke in the future. Results showed that the indicators associated with experimentation were different than those linked with regular smoking. Socioenvironmental factors associated with the transition from never having smoked to trying cigarettes included acculturation, as measured by language and familialism, and peer smoking behavior. Among the personal factors, risk-taking behavior (past use of drugs, alcohol, and general risk attitude) and smoking intentions were correlates of experimentation. The transition from experimenter to regular smoker was associated with peer smoking behavior (P< .05) in the socioenvironmental domain and drug use and intention to smoke in the future among the personal factors (both P values <.001). Age, years of education, marital status, norms, and parental smoking did not independently predict either of the smoking outcomes. Intention to smoke was the strongest predictor of experimentation (OR = 8.3, Cl 5.87-11.60) and regular smoking (OR= 19.9, CI 12.31-29.21) and could help identify those most likely to benefit from smoking prevention and cessation interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Parent-Child Relations / ethnology
  • Peer Group
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Social Identification
  • Women's Health