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Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Apr;16(4):454-60. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt184. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Socioeconomic differences in the risk profiles of susceptibility and ever use of tobacco among Indian urban youth: a latent class approach.

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Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN;



To empirically determine the socioeconomic differences in risk profiles of susceptibility and ever use of tobacco among adolescents in India and to investigate the association between the risk profiles and the psychosocial factors for tobacco use.


Students in 16 private (higher socioeconomic status [SES]; n = 4,489) and 16 government (lower SES; n = 7,153) schools in two large cities in India were surveyed about their tobacco use and related psychosocial factors in 2004. Latent class analysis was used to identify homogenous, mutually exclusive typologies existing within the data.


Overall, 3 and 4 latent classes of susceptibility and ever use of tobacco best described students in higher- and lower- SES schools, respectively. Profiles with various combinations of susceptibility and ever use of tobacco were differentially related to psychosocial factors, with lower- SES students being more vulnerable to increased levels of tobacco use than higher- SES students.


Acknowledging the multiple dimensions of tobacco use behaviors and identifying constellations of risk behaviors will enable more accurate understanding of etiological processes and will provide information for refining and targeting preventive interventions. Additionally, identifying the socioeconomic differences in susceptibility and ever use risk profiles and their psychosocial correlates will enable policy makers to address these inequities through improved allocation of resources.

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