Tobacco smoking among Portuguese high-school students.Bull World Health Organ. 1999; 77(6):509-14.BW
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, behavioural patterns, and determinants of smoking among a large sample of high-school students from Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, information on sociodemographic characteristics and personal history of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and illicit drug use was obtained from 2974 students, aged 12-19 years (48.7% female, 51.3% male), using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) were calculated by logistic regression analysis to estimate the association between smoking and the characteristics evaluated. Overall, 35.8% students had never smoked, 39.4% had tried it ("experimental" smokers) but were not smokers, 3.3% were former smokers, 6.6% occasional smokers, and 14.9% regular smokers. The mean age for starting smoking was 13.4 +/- 2.1 years for males and 13.4 +/- 1.6 years for females. The prevalence of current smoking was higher among males than females, but the difference was not significant. Male students were significantly more likely to smoke more cigarettes per day than were females. The prevalence of smoking was significantly associated with the following variables: being aged > 12 years; having parents who had attended school for < 4 years; having a mother (OR = 1.88), siblings (OR = 1.96) or friends (OR = 1.75) who smoked; low academic performance (OR = 1.74 for one or two failures and OR = 2.27 for more than two failures at school); and consumption of coffee (OR = 2.90), alcohol (OR = 3.53), or illicit drugs (OR = 6.69). The prevalence of smoking among adolescents increased with age. There is therefore a need for school-based tobacco prevention programmes which also deal with family influences on smoking.