The Experiences of Tobacco Use among South-Western Taiwanese Adolescent Males

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Aug 28;12(9):10522-35. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120910522.


Most smokers start young. Initiation of cigarette smoking at an earlier age leads to more life-years for tobacco use, makes quitting harder, and increases the risk of serious health consequences. Despite these challenges, research focusing on smoking behavior among adolescent boys in Taiwan is rare. Although the Taiwanese government enacted the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act in 2009, aimed at prevention and reducing the rate of smoking, the percentage of high school students who smoke has continued to increase. In 2006, 7.5% of adolescent boys engaged in smoking. By 2012 the rate had increased to 24.6%. This paper explores the experiences that contribute to adolescent Taiwanese boys making the decision to smoke. A phenomenological approach to inquiry was used as the philosophical foundations for this study with twelve adolescent boys who engaged in smoking behaviors. Data was gathered through two face-to-face semi-structured interviews and a focus group. Data analysis was performed using Colaizzi's analysis method. Findings indicated that decisions to begin smoking were motivated by curiosity and as a means of establishing friendships while decisions to continue smoking were linked to the addictive nature of smoking and as a means of coping with stress and passing the time. The findings can be used to inform the prevention of tobacco use and to reduce the high smoking rates among adolescent boys.

Keywords: adolescent boys; school settings; smoking behaviors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan