Correlates of Susceptibility to Smoking among Secondary School Students in Kota Tinggi District, Johor, Malaysia


Background: Smoking among adolescents has been linked to a variety of adverse and long term healthconsequences. “Susceptibility to smoking” or the lack of cognitive commitment to abstain from smoking is animportant predictor of adolescent smoking. In 2008, we conducted a study to determine the psycho-sociologicalfactors associated with susceptibility to smoking among secondary school students in the district of Kota Tinggi,Johor. Materials and
Methods: Two thousand seven hundred students were randomly selected by proportionalstratified sampling. Analyses on 1,736 non-smoking students revealed that prevalence of adolescents susceptibleto smoking was 16.3%.
Results: Male gender (aOR=2.05, 95%CI= 1.23-3.39), poor academic achievement (aOR1.60, 95%CI 1.05-2.44), ever-smoker (aOR 2.17, 95%CI 1.37-3.44) and having a smoking friend (aOR 1.76, 95%CI1.10-2.83) were associated with susceptibility to smoking, while having the perception that smoking prohibitionin school was strictly enforced (aOR 0.55, 95%CI 0.32-0.94), and had never seen friends smoking in a schoolcompound (aOR 0.59, 95%CI 0.37-0.96) were considered protective factors
Conclusions: These results indicatethat follow-up programmes need to capitalise on the modifiable factors related to susceptibility to smoking bygetting all stakeholders to be actively involved to stamp out smoking initiation among adolescents.