Predictors of intention to quit smoking in Hong Kong secondary school children

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BackgroundBehavioral theories suggest that a past quit attempt influences psycho-social determinants to predict smokers' intention to quit, although no study has tested the hypothesis among youth smokers.MethodsA sample of 1561 Chinese secondary students, who were current smokers, were collected in a cross-sectional school-based survey in Hong Kong.ResultsFor the 943 students with past quit attempts, those with lower daily cigarette consumption; who perceived smoking would not elicit positive social responses from others; who had one parent/teacher who prohibited them to smoke; who were aware of the health hazards of smoking and being male smokers, were more likely to have an intention to quit smoking. For the 618 students without a past quit attempt, those who did not perceive any benefit from smoking; who had parents and teachers to prohibit them to smoke and who received social support to quit, were more likely to have an intention to quit smoking.ConclusionStrengthening the prohibition of smoking and providing social support may help initiate the intention to quit among youth smokers without a past quit attempt, while de-normalizing social images of smoking, providing information about the health hazards of smoking and relieving nicotine addiction may sustain quitting intentions among youth smokers with past quit attempts.

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