Link between perceived smoking behaviour at school and students smoking status: a large survey among Italian adolescents
Backhaus, I.; D'Egidio, V.; Grassucci, D.; Gelardini, M.; Ardizzone, C.; La Torre, G.
Public Health 151: 169-176
To investigate a possible link between sociodemographic factors, the perception of smoking habits at school and smoking status of Italian adolescents attending secondary school. The study was a cross-sectional study. An anonymous online survey was employed to gather information on age, gender, smoking status and to examine the perception of smoking behaviour on the school premises. Chi-squared and Kruskal-Wallis tests were performed for the univariate analysis and logistic and multinomial regressions for the multivariate analysis. The statistical analyses included 1889 students. Univariate analysis showed significant differences concerning knowledge between smoker and non-smoker concerning the harmfulness of smoking (P < 0.001). According to the multivariate analysis smokers had a higher perception of teacher, principal or janitor smoking at school (odds ratio: 1.54 [95% confidence interval 1.26-1.89]). Students older than 19 years most often begin smoking because their friends smoke compared with younger students (adjusted odds ratio: 1.18 [95% confidence interval 0.48-2.89]). School environment and behaviour of role models play a crucial part in student smoking. To prevent and reduce youth tobacco smoking, not merely the presence of preventive measures is important but greater attention needs to be placed on the enforcement of smoking policies.