The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1998 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE AFFECTS OF GRADE, RACE AND TYPE OF SCHOOL ATTENDED, ON THE SMOKING HABITS AMONG FEMALE STUDENTS.

by Rhonda Bevis, MS, RRT, Macon State College, Macon Georgia

Today, women are smoking more than men, they are smoking longer, and they are the fastest growing population of health problems as a result of smoking. Little research has been done to evaluate smoking patterns by race. Thus, race, grade and type of school attended were key variables in this research. It surveyed the attitudes and behaviors concerning smoking among females of junior high school and high school age. This study was looked at the reasons why so many adolescent women continue to initiate smoking. A questionnaire was administered by teachers in three schools; a county public middle school and high school and a private middle and high school. Students determined which pattern of cigarette smoking they fit, and answered questions concerning their opinions and beliefs about smoking. They were asked questions about why they started, why they didn't start, why they stopped, and if they had tried to stop smoking and were unable, why they couldn't stop.

Grade and the type of school attended was not predictive of reasons young female students initiated smoking. Most female adolescents initiated smoking because of friends who smoke. Large numbers of adolescents in both age groups obtained their initial cigarette from friends who smoked.

Race was predictive of reasons young female students initiated smoking. A higher percentage of African-American female students were influenced by smoking family members than other races. Although less African-American students smoked, they were not as likely to obtain cigarettes from close or casual friends as were the white students. Grade, race or the type of school attended was not predictive of reasons young female students stop smoking. Although little research has been done on the African-American female adolescent who smoked, they indicated they stopped smoking for the same reasons as the white adolescent females. The same reasons for smoking cessation was found at both types of schools.

Young female students initiated smoking because of smoking friends. This is substantiated by the fact that most adolescent female students obtained their first cigarette from friends. Young female students attempt smoking cessation because of the health effects on themselves.

Students in this study were concerned about the current and future effects of smoking on themselves. Perhaps this will be a key for smoking cessation programs. The fact that health hazards caused by smoking may prevent accomplishments in the field of athletics or sports may be a strong reason for smoking cessation program development using adolescent health as a key point.

The 44th International Respiratory Congress Abstracts-On-DiskĀ®, November 7 - 10, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia.

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