1 Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidade de Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 2822-2827
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
The onset of smoking occurs most often among adolescents in schools, based on socially enabling representations, but predictors of unhealthy lifestyles.

We aimed to characterize the profile of teenagers attending high school and consuming tobacco and to estimate the impact of school context variables and lifestyles on knowledge and tobacco consumption of adolescents.

Materials and methods:
We conducted a quantitative, descriptive, correlational, analytical and cross-sectional study in a sample of 971 adolescents, aged between 14 and 21 years old, attending high school, with the implementation of a socio-demographic questionnaire, of school context and lifestyles; Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Romano, Negreiro & Martins, 2007); Clinical Inventory of Self-concept(Vaz Serra, 1984) and Tobacco Consumption Scale (Precioso, 2007).

The students, aged between 14 and 21, are part of families of medium-high or high yield (56.70%), most are attending the 10th year 38.60%, seconded by the 11th year with 31.50%. We verified that 62.00% of students have positive feelings ("like") in relation to school, 32.00% are indifferent and 6.0% showed negative feelings ("do not like"). The very large majority of adolescents (82.60%) spend less than 30 minutes in travel time to school and only 17.40% take 30 minutes or more on the trip.We verified that 42.60% of students have in their school career one or more flunk, occurring in higher percentage of boys than in girls (47.70% versus 37.40%). In our sample (58.70%) of the adolescents reported that their parents are always available to help with regard to school work and 23.90% consider that it happens often. We found that the usual adolescent smokers reported being influenced by another family member (65.3%), girlfriend/boyfriend (40.8%), and the father (37.0%). As for peer influence we found that 68.0% of current smokers and 56.4% of occasional smokers hang out with three or more smoker friends. The supply of cigarettes happens with a higher prevalence in coffees (73.0%), at school (71.1%) and disco/clubs (56.2%). Adolescents who don’t smoke have better knowledge about what concerns health and tobacco.

There are several factors associated with the initiation of tobacco consumption; among them we found the peer pressure and parental influence. The more smokers surround adolescents the higher is the probability to start smoking. The data points to the need to implement preventive actions in families and schools, promoting healthier lifestyles and awareness that smoking is a complex and globalizing phenomenon affecting both the individual health of smokers and public health.
health education, adolescents, tobacco consumption