Risk factors for smoking among adolescents with asthma


Purpose: To examine the prevalence of smoking among youth with asthma and explore potential risk factors for smoking among these youth, compared with youth without asthma. Methods: In March 1997, a questionnaire assessing risk factors for smoking was administered to students attending public high school in Memphis, Tennessee. The sample (n = 3234) ranged from 15 to 18 years of age, was predominately African-American (76.7%), and 56.7% female. Based on a single self-reported item, 15.7% of youth reported having asthma. Logistic regression analyses assessed asthma status differences in current smoking and the association between risk factors and smoking. Results: Nearly 20% of youth reported current smoking. Adolescents with asthma (current or past) were nearly 1.5 times more likely to smoke than peers without asthma. The association between risk factors and current cigarette smoking was equivalent for youth regardless of whether they had asthma and did not differ for those youth with current vs. past asthma. Conclusions: Results suggest that adolescents with or without asthma smoke for similar reasons. Research is needed to elucidate whether there are unique risk factors, not examined here, for smoking among adolescents with asthma. Smoking prevention and cessation programs are needed for youth with asthma. Copyright © 2002 Society for Adolescent Medicine.

Publication Title

Journal of Adolescent Health