Adolescents' perceptions of light and intermittent smoking in the United States

Stephen M. Amrock, Michael Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Light smoking, consuming a few cigarettes daily, and intermittent, or nondaily, smoking patterns are increasingly common but carry health risks comparable to heavier smoking patterns. Nearly all smokers begin smoking as adolescents, who are at risk for developing these smoking patterns. Previous research suggests that smokers underestimate the risks associated with smoking. The extent to which adolescents perceive light and intermittent smoking as harmful has not been previously assessed. METHODS: Data from 24 658 US adolescents sampled by the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a national, school-based, cross-sectional survey, were examined. Cross-tabulations and multivariate ordered probit regression models were constructed to describe correlates of US adolescents' perception of light and intermittent smoking. RESULTS: Although most adolescents (88.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87.2% to 88.8%) reported beliefs that a heavier smoking pattern is very harmful, only 64.3% (95% CI; 63.2% to 65.3%) and 33.3% (95% CI; 32.0% to 34.6%) reported that light and intermittent smoking, respectively, are very harmful. Conversely, nearly one-quarter of US adolescents believed intermittent smoking causes little or no harm. Males, younger adolescents, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than their peers to view light and intermittent smoking patterns as less harmful. Those who were already light or intermittent smokers, those who used other tobacco products, and those who had a family member who used tobacco were also less likely to view their smoking patterns as harmful. CONCLUSIONS: Misconceptions about the safety of light and intermittent smoking are widespread among US adolescents. Significant public health attention is needed to redress these misperceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalPediatrics
Volume135
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Fingerprint

Smoking
Light
Confidence Intervals
Tobacco Products
Tobacco
Hispanic Americans
Public Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Safety
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Adolescents' perceptions of light and intermittent smoking in the United States. / Amrock, Stephen M.; Weitzman, Michael.

In: Pediatrics, Vol. 135, No. 2, 01.02.2015, p. 246-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{dd16951365f946609c6ab434ba8979ab,
title = "Adolescents' perceptions of light and intermittent smoking in the United States",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Light smoking, consuming a few cigarettes daily, and intermittent, or nondaily, smoking patterns are increasingly common but carry health risks comparable to heavier smoking patterns. Nearly all smokers begin smoking as adolescents, who are at risk for developing these smoking patterns. Previous research suggests that smokers underestimate the risks associated with smoking. The extent to which adolescents perceive light and intermittent smoking as harmful has not been previously assessed. METHODS: Data from 24 658 US adolescents sampled by the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a national, school-based, cross-sectional survey, were examined. Cross-tabulations and multivariate ordered probit regression models were constructed to describe correlates of US adolescents' perception of light and intermittent smoking. RESULTS: Although most adolescents (88.0{\%}; 95{\%} confidence interval [CI], 87.2{\%} to 88.8{\%}) reported beliefs that a heavier smoking pattern is very harmful, only 64.3{\%} (95{\%} CI; 63.2{\%} to 65.3{\%}) and 33.3{\%} (95{\%} CI; 32.0{\%} to 34.6{\%}) reported that light and intermittent smoking, respectively, are very harmful. Conversely, nearly one-quarter of US adolescents believed intermittent smoking causes little or no harm. Males, younger adolescents, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than their peers to view light and intermittent smoking patterns as less harmful. Those who were already light or intermittent smokers, those who used other tobacco products, and those who had a family member who used tobacco were also less likely to view their smoking patterns as harmful. CONCLUSIONS: Misconceptions about the safety of light and intermittent smoking are widespread among US adolescents. Significant public health attention is needed to redress these misperceptions.",
author = "Amrock, {Stephen M.} and Michael Weitzman",
year = "2015",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1542/peds.2014-2502",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "135",
pages = "246--254",
journal = "Pediatrics",
issn = "0031-4005",
publisher = "American Academy of Pediatrics",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adolescents' perceptions of light and intermittent smoking in the United States

AU - Amrock, Stephen M.

AU - Weitzman, Michael

PY - 2015/2/1

Y1 - 2015/2/1

N2 - BACKGROUND: Light smoking, consuming a few cigarettes daily, and intermittent, or nondaily, smoking patterns are increasingly common but carry health risks comparable to heavier smoking patterns. Nearly all smokers begin smoking as adolescents, who are at risk for developing these smoking patterns. Previous research suggests that smokers underestimate the risks associated with smoking. The extent to which adolescents perceive light and intermittent smoking as harmful has not been previously assessed. METHODS: Data from 24 658 US adolescents sampled by the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a national, school-based, cross-sectional survey, were examined. Cross-tabulations and multivariate ordered probit regression models were constructed to describe correlates of US adolescents' perception of light and intermittent smoking. RESULTS: Although most adolescents (88.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87.2% to 88.8%) reported beliefs that a heavier smoking pattern is very harmful, only 64.3% (95% CI; 63.2% to 65.3%) and 33.3% (95% CI; 32.0% to 34.6%) reported that light and intermittent smoking, respectively, are very harmful. Conversely, nearly one-quarter of US adolescents believed intermittent smoking causes little or no harm. Males, younger adolescents, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than their peers to view light and intermittent smoking patterns as less harmful. Those who were already light or intermittent smokers, those who used other tobacco products, and those who had a family member who used tobacco were also less likely to view their smoking patterns as harmful. CONCLUSIONS: Misconceptions about the safety of light and intermittent smoking are widespread among US adolescents. Significant public health attention is needed to redress these misperceptions.

AB - BACKGROUND: Light smoking, consuming a few cigarettes daily, and intermittent, or nondaily, smoking patterns are increasingly common but carry health risks comparable to heavier smoking patterns. Nearly all smokers begin smoking as adolescents, who are at risk for developing these smoking patterns. Previous research suggests that smokers underestimate the risks associated with smoking. The extent to which adolescents perceive light and intermittent smoking as harmful has not been previously assessed. METHODS: Data from 24 658 US adolescents sampled by the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a national, school-based, cross-sectional survey, were examined. Cross-tabulations and multivariate ordered probit regression models were constructed to describe correlates of US adolescents' perception of light and intermittent smoking. RESULTS: Although most adolescents (88.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87.2% to 88.8%) reported beliefs that a heavier smoking pattern is very harmful, only 64.3% (95% CI; 63.2% to 65.3%) and 33.3% (95% CI; 32.0% to 34.6%) reported that light and intermittent smoking, respectively, are very harmful. Conversely, nearly one-quarter of US adolescents believed intermittent smoking causes little or no harm. Males, younger adolescents, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than their peers to view light and intermittent smoking patterns as less harmful. Those who were already light or intermittent smokers, those who used other tobacco products, and those who had a family member who used tobacco were also less likely to view their smoking patterns as harmful. CONCLUSIONS: Misconceptions about the safety of light and intermittent smoking are widespread among US adolescents. Significant public health attention is needed to redress these misperceptions.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84922622907&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84922622907&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1542/peds.2014-2502

DO - 10.1542/peds.2014-2502

M3 - Article

C2 - 25583910

AN - SCOPUS:84922622907

VL - 135

SP - 246

EP - 254

JO - Pediatrics

JF - Pediatrics

SN - 0031-4005

IS - 2

ER -