Adolescent daily cigarette smoking: is rural residency a risk factor?

Rural Remote Health. Jan-Mar 2008;8(1):875. Epub 2008 Mar 26.


Introduction: Daily cigarette smoking among US adolescents remains a significant public health problem. Understanding risk is important in order to develop strategies to reduce this type of tobacco use.

Purpose: The primary objective of this research was to examine whether rural residency is an independent risk factor for being a daily smoker among adolescents ages 12 to 18 years.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study where univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were performed on a merged 1997-2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System dataset to determine whether rural residence was a significant risk factor for daily cigarette smoking, after adjusting for demographic factors.

Results: Using daily smoking as the dependent variable, initial multivariate analyses revealed that adolescents who lived either in suburban (OR=.34, CI=.32, .36) or urban (OR=.33, CI=.31, .35) locales were less likely to become daily smokers than adolescents living in rural locales. Subsequent logistic regression analysis yielded that rural youths who became daily smokers were more likely to: have used smokeless tobacco products in the past 12 months (OR=1.25, CI=1.04,1.51); be female (OR=1.42, CI=1.23, 1.64); be Caucasian (OR=1.53, CI=1.28, 1.84); have first smoked a whole cigarette when they were 12 years of age or younger (OR=2.08, CI=1.82, 2.38); and have smoked at school in the past 30 days (OR=14.52, CI=11.97, 17.60).

Conclusions: The results indicate that rural residency is a risk factor for tobacco use among US youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior* / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Peer Group
  • Prevalence
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology