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Salud Publica Mex. 2006;48 Suppl 1:S30-40.

[Tobacco and alcohol consumption among youth in marginalized urban zones in Mexico: analysis of related decisions].

[Article in Spanish]

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Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.



The purpose of this study was to: identify the economic and sociodemographic factors that influence the decisions made by youth in poor urban areas in Mexico to consume tobacco and alcohol; test the hypothesis that both decisions are mutually related and; demonstrate the influence of social interactions within the household on the consumption of both substances.


This cross-sectional study analyzed information from the Urban Household Evaluation Survey (Encelurb 2002, per its acronym in Spanish), which constitutes the baseline measurement for a follow-up survey to evaluate the impact of a social program in urban areas of Mexico. The Encelurb 2002 is a multi-issue survey that collected information from 17,207 households, including data on alcohol and tobacco consumption from 15,181 youth ranging in age from 12 to 21 years old. The estimation method used was a bivariate probit model. The entire sample was analyzed as well as the subsample of youth 12 to 15 years old.


The joint estimation of the two propensities for consumption confirmed that both decisions are closely related. The presence of older youth who smoked or consumed alcohol was positively and significantly associated with the probability of tobacco and alcohol use among youth 12 to 15 years old. The probability of consuming both addictive substances increased with age, principally among men. On the other hand, youth who lived with both parents had lower probabilities of tobacco and alcohol consumption than those living without any parent.


The results indicate that alcohol and tobacco consumption decisions are mutually related, which allows for better identification of family and individual factors associated with the propensity by youth for smoking and consuming alcohol. These results contribute to the scarce amount of information in Mexico indicating the need to analyze the phenomena of addictions with regard to the consumption of various substances.

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