Why do smokers start?

Raya Muttarak, Silvano Gallus, Matteo Franchi, Fabrizio Faggiano, Roberta Pacifici, Paolo Colombo, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most studies investigating the reasons for smoking initiation are based on adolescents or young individuals. We considered the issue in a large dataset on the general Italian population. Six population-based surveys on smoking were conducted annually from 2005 to 2010 on representative samples of Italian individuals aged 15 years or over, involving more than 3000 individuals each year. A specific question on the main reason to start smoking was asked to 7469 ever smokers. Overall, 59.9% of ever smokers started smoking before 18 years of age and 33.6% started smoking before 16 years of age. Among ever smokers, 61.1% reported having started smoking because of the influence of friends, 15.6% for enjoyment and satisfaction, 9.0% to feel mature and independent, 6.6% because of the influence of partner/family, 2.5% because of stress, 1.9% to feel more secure and 1.8% for curiosity. The finding that the majority of Italian men and women - particularly those who started smoking at a young age - started smoking because of the influence of friends suggests that antismoking campaigns should consider social influence, resistance and the dimension of self-esteem. An improvement in the legislation prohibiting the purchase of tobacco products by minors aged less than 18 years and a smoking ban in school courtyards are urgently required in Italy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Prevention
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

Smoking
Minors
Exploratory Behavior
Legislation
Self Concept
Tobacco Products
Italy
Population

Keywords

  • ever smokers
  • Italy
  • population survey
  • reason to start
  • smoking initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Muttarak, R., Gallus, S., Franchi, M., Faggiano, F., Pacifici, R., Colombo, P., & La Vecchia, C. (2013). Why do smokers start? European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 22(2), 181-186. https://doi.org/10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32835645fa

Why do smokers start? / Muttarak, Raya; Gallus, Silvano; Franchi, Matteo; Faggiano, Fabrizio; Pacifici, Roberta; Colombo, Paolo; La Vecchia, Carlo.

In: European Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 22, No. 2, 03.2013, p. 181-186.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Muttarak, R, Gallus, S, Franchi, M, Faggiano, F, Pacifici, R, Colombo, P & La Vecchia, C 2013, 'Why do smokers start?', European Journal of Cancer Prevention, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 181-186. https://doi.org/10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32835645fa
Muttarak R, Gallus S, Franchi M, Faggiano F, Pacifici R, Colombo P et al. Why do smokers start? European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2013 Mar;22(2):181-186. https://doi.org/10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32835645fa
Muttarak, Raya ; Gallus, Silvano ; Franchi, Matteo ; Faggiano, Fabrizio ; Pacifici, Roberta ; Colombo, Paolo ; La Vecchia, Carlo. / Why do smokers start?. In: European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2013 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 181-186.
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