This article reviewed the major personal, interpersonal, environmental, attitudinal, and physiological variables that contribute to adolescent smoking. As stated at the outset, multiple factors interact in complex ways to determine the cause and development of smoking among adolescents. No single factor or influence is either sufficient or necessary in and of itself. Given the substantial continuity of smoking status across the period from adolescence to adulthood and the fact that most adults began their smoking careers as teenagers, antismoking campaigns and other preventive strategies for reducing adolescent smoking are critical areas for future health promotion efforts. Efforts to prevent adolescent smoking have shown appreciable success in reducing the rate of "uptake." A frequent intervention strategy has focused on protecting adolescents against peer influence through teaching them skills for refusing or counteracting such influence and posing counterinfluence by recruiting high-status peers as leaders of prevention programs. Although these interventions have shown success, their scope appears limited in light of this article's emphasis on the multiple influences on adolescent smoking. For instance, further prevention research might address factors such as family influences and group and self-identity. It might also address the complex set of risk behaviors of which smoking may often be a member.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health