Cigarette smoking among school children in Singapore. Part II--Development of the smoking habit

Singapore Med J. 1991 Jun;32(3):146-50.


The second in this series on smoking among school children in Singapore aims to define the characteristics of young smokers. Results show that of respondents who had ever smoked, the median age of experimentation with smoking was 12 years. This was seen among boys as well as girls. The median age at which current smokers went on to smoke regularly was 14 years, approximately two years after trying their first cigarette. Friends and parents were the main sources of the first cigarette for all categories of smokers, whether they be ex smokers, experimenters or current smokers. Among the reasons as to why current smokers smoked, the leading two were "to relax" (46.4%) and "out of sheer curiosity" (22.3%). Boys tend more to smoke with friends of the same sex (40.6%) whilst girls preferred mixed company (45.5%) when they smoked. Fathers played a major role in the development and continuation of smoking among those who had ever smoked before--52.0% of boys and 51.6% of girls currently smoking reported that their fathers smoked as well.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Prevalence
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires