Family and Peer Risk Factors as Predictors of Lifetime Tobacco Use among Iranian Adolescents: Gender Similarities and Differences

  •  Azam Baheiraei    
  •  Farzaneh Soltani    
  •  Abbas Ebadi    
  •  Mohammad Ali Cheraghi    
  •  Abbas Rahimi Foroushani    


Introduction: Family and peer risk factors are considered as important predictors of tobacco use in adolescents. Furthermore, information regarding gender differences in lifetime tobacco use of adolescents is essential for designing gender-specific tobacco prevention policies.

Methods: In a cross-sectional population-based study, 870 Iranian adolescents (430 boys and 436 girls) aged 15-18 years old, filled out the adopted form of “Communities That Care Youth Survey”. Four family and two peer risk factors were entered in adjusted logistic regression analyses to predict the lifetime tobacco use (cigarette and smokeless tobacco) in boys and girls, separately.

Results: Boys reported higher prevalence of lifetime cigarettes use compared to girls (22.8% vs. 17.8%, p = 0.04). However, the prevalence of lifetime smokeless tobacco use in girls was the same as boys, even slightly higher (7.9% vs. 7.1%, P=0.5). “Family history of drug use” and “Friends use of drugs” were common risk factors predicting cigarettes and smokeless tobacco use between both genders. On the other hand, other family risk factors included “Poor family management”, “Parental attitude favorable toward drug use” and “Family conflict” were the predictors of lifetime tobacco use only in girls, but not in boys.

Conclusion: Design and implementation of preventative programs for adolescents tobacco use should be conducted with emphasis on the role of smoker parents at home, and friendship with substance user peers with antisocial behaviors. It seems that family risk factors may have more value in prevention of tobacco use in female adolescents.

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