Adolescents with attitude ... changes in views about smoking over time.Health Promot J Austr. 2008 Aug; 19(2):109-12.HP
Adolescents who experiment with smoking often develop into long-term, dependent smokers. Appropriate youth smoking prevention strategies require an understanding of the predictors of smoking (e.g. attitudes and beliefs) and the amenability of these to change over time.
A secondary analysis of 'Smarter than Smoking' evaluation data from a series of cross-sectional surveys conducted over six years (1999-2005). The study sample comprised 683, 14-15 year-old Western Australians residing across Perth. Basic descriptive statistics were calculated, accompanied by main effects logistic regression.
Significant changes were observed between 1999 and 2005 in key attitudes and beliefs relating to smoking, with a strengthening in agreement with statements relating to the smell, cost and effects on fitness. For several attitudes and beliefs however, no change or a weakening of agreement was observed over time.
Overall, this study found support for a strengthening in smoking-related attitudes and beliefs over the six year period (1999 to 2005). A number of the attitudinal and belief changes corresponded to messages targeted by Smarter than Smoking's communication objectives and media strategies. Attitudes and beliefs that did not change significantly over time were more likely to relate to consequences of smoking not directly targeted by the project.