Background: We examined prevalence rates and risk factors for smoking among Latino adolescents, using a multiethnic sample of sixth- and seventh-grade students (n = 3129) in 47 New York City public and parochial schools.
Methods: The students completed questionnaires; self-reported smoking data were collected by means of the "bogus pipeline" technique. The largest group of Latino students (43%) was Puerto Rican; 20% were of Dominican background, 7% were Colombian, and 7% were Ecuadorian. "Current smoking" was defined as smoking at least once per month.
Results: A series of logistic regression analyses indicated that peer influence was the strongest predictor of smoking. Family influence was important as well.
Conclusions: The results are discussed in terms of their implications for prevention.