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Socioeconomic Status and Tobacco Consumption Among Adolescents: A Multilevel Analysis of Argentina's Global Youth Tobacco Survey

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Linetzky, B., R. Mejia, D. Ferrante, F. De Maio, and Ana Diez Roux. 2012. "Socioeconomic Status and Tobacco Consumption Among Adolescents: A Multilevel Analysis of Argentina's Global Youth Tobacco Survey." Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 14(9): 1092-1099.

The relationship between poverty and tobacco consumption among adolescents has not been extensively studied, and what evidence exists has come almost entirely from developed countries. Moreover, the impact of contextual factors-such as school-level poverty-remains unclear. We obtained information about smoking behavior from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey in Argentina in 2007. School-level characteristics were derived by matching schools to census areas from the 2001 Census. Additional school-level information was obtained from the Ministry of Education. Random intercept models were used to evaluate the associations of school-level variables (poverty in the census area of the school, school receipt of social assistance, and public or private status) with current smoking, intention to quit, secondhand smoke exposure outside the home, support for smoke-free laws, purchase of single cigarettes among smokers, and susceptibility to smoking in 5 years among nonsmokers. After controlling for age and sex, students attending schools receiving social assistance were more likely to smoke (odds ratio [OR] 1.35, 95% CI 1.02-1.80) and to purchase loose cigarettes (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.08-2.54), whereas school poverty was significantly associated with secondhand smoke exposure (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.04-1.58). This study shows that an association exists between unfavorable contextual school characteristics and tobacco consumption and related measures among youth in Argentina. Efforts to prevent smoking may need to address the school-level factors that place youth at higher risk.

DOI:10.1093/ntr/nts004 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3529606. (Pub Med Central)

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