Introduction: To investigate the association between smoking and self-rated health (SRH) among adolescents in Hong Kong.
Methods: Form 1 (U.S. Grade 7) to 5 students (N = 36,225) from 85 randomly selected secondary schools were surveyed using anonymous, self-administered questionnaires to collect information about smoking, SRH, secondhand smoke exposure, drinking, illicit drug use, physical activities, medical services use, health complaints, and sociodemographic characteristics. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for poor SRH due to smoking in boys and girls.
Results: Compared with never-smoking, smoking experimentation, ex-smoking, and current smoking were associated with AORs (95% CI) for poor SRH of 1.22 (1.07-1.40), 1.43 (1.12-1.83), and 1.31 (1.13-1.53), p for trend <.001, in boys and 1.26 (1.10-1.39), 1.42 (1.08-1.85), and 1.75 (1.53-2.00, p for trend <.001, in girls. The AOR of poor SRH for current smoking was higher in girls than boys, p for interaction <.001. Current and experimental smoking but not ex-smoking were significantly associated with poor SRH among healthy students who had no health complaints or recent medical consultations. Increasing cigarette consumption, years of smoking, and smoking urge were also significantly associated with poor SRH.
Conclusions: Smoking was associated with poor SRH among Chinese adolescents, especially girls. This finding is useful for discouraging smoking initiation and motivating quitting in adolescent smokers.