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Tobacco Use and Smoking Intentions among U.S. Fifth-Grade Students
  • Published Date:
    Apr 29 2014
  • Source:
    J Adolesc Health. 2014; 55(3):445-451.
Filetype[PDF-396.22 KB]

  • Pubmed ID:
  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Description:

    To identify risk- and protective-factors for cigarette smoking and future intentions among racially/ethnically diverse preadolescent children.


    We analyzed data from 5,119 fifth-grade children living in three US metropolitan areas and their parents. Using multivariate logistic regression models, we examined how cigarette smoking and intentions to smoke within one year are associated with: (1) number of friends who smoke, (2) parental disapproval of smoking, (3) parental communication about not smoking, (4) performance in school, and (5) educational aspirations.


    Twenty-nine percent of children were black, 44 percent were Hispanic, 22 percent were white, and 5 percent were another race/ethnicity. Mean age was 11 years. The prevalence of ever smoking a cigarette among black, Hispanic, and white children was 9.8%, 5.6%, and 4.9%, respectively. In adjusted analyses, children were more likely to have smoked a cigarette if their friends smoked (aOR 5.1, 95% CI 3.8–6.9), they frequently had trouble with schoolwork (aOR 2.1, 1.5–3.1), or their parents were not college-graduates (aOR 2.0, 1.2–3.5 for high-school graduate). They were less likely to have smoked cigarettes if their parents disapproved of smoking (aOR 0.3, 0.1–0.6). Parental communication (aOR 0.1,0.0–0.6) and disapproval (aOR 0.2,0.1–0.7) had protective associations for future intentions among children who had ever and had never smoked, respectively.


    Fifth-graders share many of the same risk-factors for smoking identified in older adolescents, some of which are modifiable. Anti-smoking policies and programs should be designed for preadolescents as well as adolescents, and campaigns targeting parents should place greater emphasis on communication and expressed disapproval of smoking.

    Implications and Contribution

    Our research shows that racially/ethnically diverse preadolescent children share many of the same risk factors for smoking that have been found in studies of older children. Therefore, antismoking policies and programs may be more effective if designed for preadolescents as well as adolescents.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    U19DP002665/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U48DP000057/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U48DP000046/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U19DP002663/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    CCU409679/PHS HHS/United States
    1 K23 HL116787-01A1/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    CCU915773/PHS HHS/United States
    K23 HL116787/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    U19DP002664/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    CCU609653/PHS HHS/United States
    U48DP000056/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
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