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Do social characteristics influence smoking uptake and cessation during young adulthood?

Abstract

Objectives

This study uses a Bourdieusian approach to assess young adults’ resources and examines their association with smoking initiation and cessation.

Methods

Data were drawn from 1450 young adults participating in the Interdisciplinary Study of Inequalities in Smoking, a cohort study in Montreal, Canada. We used logistic regression models to examine the association between young adults’ income, education, and peer smoking at baseline and smoking onset and cessation.

Results

Young adults where most or all of their friends smoked had greater odds of smoking onset. Young adults that had completed pre-university postsecondary education also had higher odds of smoking onset after controlling for social support, employment status, and lacking money to pay for expenses. Income and the sociodemographic variables age and sex were not associated with smoking onset. Young adults where half of their friends smoked or where most to all of their friends smoked had lowers odds of smoking cessation. Men were more likely to cease smoking than women. Education, income and age were not associated with cessation.

Conclusions

Interventions focusing on peer smoking may present promising avenues for tobacco prevention in young adults.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the team members for giving feedback on a rough draft of the manuscript. We would also like to thank the study participants. MSW and TG are funded by doctoral grants from the Fonds de Recherche du QuébecSanté (FRQS). This work was supported by the CIHR operating Grant #DCO150GP to KLF.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Madeleine Steinmetz-Wood.

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Ethics approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. The study was approved by the research Ethics Committee of the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine (11-019-CERFM-D).

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Steinmetz-Wood, M., Gagné, T., Sylvestre, MP. et al. Do social characteristics influence smoking uptake and cessation during young adulthood?. Int J Public Health 63, 115–123 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-017-1044-8

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Keywords

  • Young adults
  • Smoking
  • Smoking onset
  • Cessation
  • Social characteristics
  • Bourdieu