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An examination of different smoking patterns among Canadian youth: New insight for tobacco control programming

Addictive Behaviors
DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.10.004
  • Adolescent
  • Smoking Behavior
  • Daily Smoking
  • Occasional Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Social Influences


Abstract Patterns of smoking can vary among youth smokers. The purpose of this study was to examine three different patterns of smoking among youth (daily smoking, smoking sporadically on weekdays and weekends, and smoking during weekdays only), and to examine the sociodemographic characteristics that are associated with each smoking pattern in a representative sample of Canadian youth smokers. Data were collected as part of the 2010/2011 Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) from 31,396 students in grades 9 to 12 from secondary schools in 9 Canadian provinces. Data from the YSS were used to assess smoking behaviors and sociodemographic factors that are associated with smoking patterns among youth. We used logistic regression models to examine factors associated with week day only and some day smoking patterns relative to daily smoking patterns. Results indicate that among current youth smokers, the majority are daily smokers (62.0%), followed by some day (23.5%) and week day only (13.5%) smokers. Students who smoke some days were more likely than daily smokers to share cigarettes with others; however, they were less likely than daily smokers to have a parent, step-parent or guardian who smokes cigarettes and less likely to have close friends who smoke cigarettes. Conversely, students who smoke week days only were less likely than daily smokers to have a sibling who smokes cigarettes. These data suggest that the school environment continues to play an important role in reducing youth smoking rates in Canada, especially among youth who only smoke week days. The high percentage of week day only smokers suggests that current school-level tobacco control initiatives may be insufficient for preventing youth smoking onset.

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