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Adolescent Smoking Susceptibility in the Current Tobacco Context: 2014-2016

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Objectives: We examined perceptions and behaviors associated with smoking susceptibility among adolescents in the current tobacco landscape. Methods: Participants were 8th and 10th grade never-smokers of conventional cigarettes (N = 19,853) from Monitoring the Future surveys (2014-2016). Using weighted multivariable logistic regression, we examined risk factors for smoking susceptibility: alternative tobacco product use (e-cigarettes, large cigars, little cigars/cigarillos, and flavored little cigars/cigarillos), ownership of tobacco promotional items (TPIs), access to cigarettes, perceived influence of antismoking advertisements, and perceived addictiveness of conventional cigarette smoking. Results: Among never-smokers of conventional cigarettes, 16.7% were susceptible to smoking, 6.2% were past 30-day alternative tobacco product users, and 3.5% owned TPIs. Alternative tobacco product use, ownership of TPIs, and easy access to cigarettes were associated with increased likelihood of smoking susceptibility. Perceived great influence by antismoking ads and higher perceived addictiveness of conventional cigarette smoking were associated with lower odds of smoking susceptibility. Conclusion: Alternative tobacco product use, ownership of TPIs, easy access to cigarettes, low influence by antismoking ads, and low perceptions of the addictiveness of conventional cigarettes are significant and actionable risk factors for smoking susceptibility among today's adolescents.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, TX 2: Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, TX;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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