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J Prev Med Public Health. 2019 Mar;52(2):92-100. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.18.201. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Factors Related to Smoking Status Among Young Adults: An Analysis of Younger and Older Young Adults in Korea.

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Graduate School of Public Health, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



Young adulthood represents a critical developmental period during which the use of tobacco may begin or cease. Furthermore, differences in smoking behaviors between younger (aged 18-24 years) and older (aged 25-34 years) young adults may exist. This study aimed to characterize patterns related to current smoking in younger and older young adults.


This study used data acquired from the Sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2013 to 2014. A total of 2069 subjects were categorized as younger (712 subjects) and older (1357 subjects) young adults. The chi-square test was used to assess the relationships between smoking status and socio-demographic, health-related, and smoking-related factors. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to assess the factors affecting current smoking in these age groups.


The current smoking prevalence was 18.3% among the younger young adults and 26.0% among the older young adults. Sex, education level, occupation, perceived health status, alcohol consumption, and electronic cigarette use were related to current smoking in both age groups. Secondhand smoke exposure at home and stress levels showed significant relationships with smoking in younger and older young adults, respectively.


Strong correlations were found between the observed variables and smoking behaviors among young adults. Determining the factors affecting smoking and designing interventions based on these factors are essential for smoking cessation in young adults.


Smoking; Smoking cessation; Smoking prevention; Young adult

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