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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Sep;37(3):224-8.

Knowledge about tobacco and subsequent use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco among Swedish adolescents.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. ingvar.rosendahl@sll.se

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate whether knowledge of the risks and properties of tobacco among adolescents influences their future use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in different directions.

METHODS:

A prospective cohort study of 2581 adolescents whose knowledge of tobacco was assessed in the sixth grade by means of a multi-item scale. Tobacco use was assessed by annual surveys up to the ninth grade.

RESULTS:

Knowledge level was not associated with future use. Items dealing with addictive properties of nicotine were prospectively associated with smokeless tobacco ("snus") use only.

CONCLUSIONS:

A high level of knowledge of the risks associated with tobacco is not a predictor of future nonuse or of a shift to smokeless tobacco rather than cigarettes. Attitudes and expectations may determine knowledge rather than vice versa.

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