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Determinants of smoking behaviour among adolescents in Semarang, Indonesia


OBJECTIVES To determine the smoking prevalence and to examine the determinants of smoking behaviour among male adolescents in Semarang, Indonesia.

DESIGN A random sample of schools in Semarang (population 1.5 million) was obtained using a stratified sampling procedure (strata based on type of school and district). A total of 149 schools were selected (response rate 72%). Within the schools 186 classes were selected, targeting the 11, 13, 15, and 17 year olds. An anonymous, self administered questionnaire was filled in by all students present at the day of the survey (total sample size 6276).

OUTCOME MEASURES Smoking prevalence, exposure to family and peer smoking, and other variables that may be related to smoking. Logistic regression was used to examine the determinants of smoking behaviour. Only male students were included in the analysis.

RESULTS Smoking increased dramatically between the ages of 11 and 17, from 8.2% to 38.7%. The variance explained by the regression model increased from 19.8% for 11 year olds to 53% for 17 year olds. The smoking behaviour of best friends was the most powerful determinant of smoking, and this was consistent across the age groups. Best friends’ attitudes towards smoking and older brothers’ smoking behaviour were also important determinants of smoking.

CONCLUSIONS Smoking prevalence among male adolescents in Semarang, Indonesia is high. Effective smoking prevention programmes should take into account the dominant influence of peers in the onset and maintenance of smoking behaviour. In general, school related items had a less important role in predicting smoking behaviour than expected.

  • adolescents
  • smoking prevalence
  • smoking initiation predictors
  • Indonesia

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