Cigarette smoking attitudes and first use among third- through sixth-grade students: the Bogalusa Heart Study

Am J Public Health. 1997 Aug;87(8):1345-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.8.1345.


Objectives: This study examined cigarette smoking attitudes, peer and parental influence, and first use among children in southeastern Louisiana.

Methods: Data from 933 children in grades 3 through 6 in the Bogalusa Heart Study (1993 through 1994) were analyzed.

Results: Fifteen percent of the children had tried smoking. Of these, 40% first smoked with a family member, and 46% obtained their first cigarette from a family member or from home. Correlates of ever having smoked were race, sex, having a best friend or family member who smoked, and attitudes that smoking is disgusting and that nonsmokers get better grades.

Conclusions: Prevention programs should begin early and focus on family and peer influences as well as attitudes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude to Health* / ethnology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Louisiana / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires