Correlates and Predictors of Tobacco Use Among Immigrant and Refugee Youth in a Western Canadian City

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Abstract

Background

Tobacco control is a priority of the British Columbia Ministry of Health as illnesses associated with tobacco use are the leading cause of preventable death in the province. As a result of increased immigration, British Columbia's demographic profile is becoming more diverse and necessitates approaches to health promotion and disease prevention that are culturally relevant. In order to develop culturally relevant anti-smoking messages and resources for immigrant and refugee youth, surveys were administered to 194 youth to better understand their attitudes towards smoking and to explore predictors of tobacco use.

Results

Twelve percent of respondents reported smoking all or part of a cigarette within the past 30 days. Male respondents were three times more likely to smoke than female respondents. Logistic regression analysis showed that immigrant and refugee youth were more likely to be non-smokers if they did not have a father who smokes, drank alcohol less frequently and had fewer close friends who smoke.

Implications

These findings support previous research studies that relate youth smoking to social influences and demonstrate a need to address gender differences, the confluence of smoking and drinking and the significance of family and peer pressure on smoking when designing culturally relevant anti-smoking resources.

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