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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


COGOLLO-MILANES, Zuleima  and  DE LA HOZ-RESTREPO, Fernando. Cigarette smoking and the risk of high-school students becoming dependent on nicotine. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.3, pp.434-445. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Establishing cigarette smoking prevalence, the factors associated with it and the risk of nicotine dependence in adolescents attending school in Cartagena, Colombia. Method This was a cross-sectional study of a probability sample of 1,152 adolescent students from public and private schools in Cartagena. Students anonymously and individually completed a questionnaire containing sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics. A descriptive analysis was then made of the variables investigated. All qualitative and quantitative variables were then dichotomised and odds ratios (OR) were estimated with 95 % confidence intervals. Results 1,014 students successfully completed the survey. Mean age was 15.1 years. 355 (35.0 %) students had experimented with cigarettes, 70 (6.9 %) reported smoking regularly and 18/70 (257 %) presented a high risk of nicotine dependence. The following variables were associated with smoking: being an elementary school student (4.08 OR; 2.27 to 7.35 95 %CI), being over 15 (3.71 OR; 2.85-7.44 95 %CI), having parents who smoked (2.47 OR; 1.42 to 4.31 95 %CI), being male (2.37 OR; 1.40 to 4.00 95 %CI) and having a brother or sister who smoked (2.21 OR; 1.16 to 4.21 95 %CI). Conclusions The prevalence of smoking was low in high-school students from Cartagena. The frequency of smokers was higher amongst basic secondary education students, males older than fifteen and in whom the parents or brothers or sisters were smokers.

Keywords : Nicotine dependence; teenager; student; cross-sectional study.

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