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J Sch Health. 1993 Nov;63(9):391-6.

Prevalence and sociobehavioral correlates of tobacco use among Hispanic children: the Tobacco Resistance Activity Program.

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  • 1Dept. of Health and Physical Education, California Polytechnic University, Pomona 91768.


To examine tobacco use patterns and its sociobehavioral correlates among Hispanic in-school youth, a tobacco use and knowledge survey was administered to 660 children from fourth through sixth grade classes, of which 69% (n = 453) were of Hispanic origin. Male Hispanics were more exposed to previous tobacco use (38% vs. 20%, p < .01), reported more current smoking, had more smoking friends, received more cigarette offers, and wanted to try a cigarette compared to females (all p < .05). Also, more previous alcohol use was noted in the previous tobacco users, indicating its potential as a "gateway drug." From multivariate analyses, being offered cigarettes was the strongest environmental indicator of previous tobacco usage, followed by having adult smokers in the house, smoking friends, (all p < .01), and being around other smoking youth (p < .05). This study offers additional knowledge about factors that may cause Hispanic youth to initiate smoking, and suggests the need to address peer and social influences in school-based substance abuse programs.

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