ERIC Number: ED390869
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Apr-24
Reference Count: N/A
Relationship between Cigarette Smoking and Other Unhealthy Behaviors among Our Nation's Youth: United States, 1992.
Willard, Jean C.; Schoenborn, Charlotte A.
Advance Data, n263 Apr 1995
Cigarette smoking almost always begins in the adolescent years and smoking at early ages increases the risk of becoming ill or dying from causes attributable to smoking. This report uses data from the 1992 National Health Interview Survey of Youth Risk Behavior and presents prevalence estimates for selected unhealthy behaviors among adolescents in the United States according to smoking status. These unhealthy behaviors, consistent with earlier studies, include drinking alcohol; using marijuana, cocaine, and smokeless tobacco; carrying weapons; physical fighting; sexual intercourse; failure to use a seat belt; and lack of exercise. Findings indicated that 29 percent of male youth (12 to 21 years of age) and 26 percent of female youth were current smokers, 3 percent of both sexes were former smokers, 28 percent of males and 30 percent of females had experimented with cigarettes but never smoked regularly, and 40 percent had never smoked. Each of the unhealthy behaviors is discussed in relation to smoking. In almost all cases, current smokers had the highest and "never smokers" had the lowest rate of other risk behaviors. The differences were particularly striking for use of other addictive substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and smokeless tobacco: current smokers were 3-17 times more likely than adolescents who had never smoked to have used these other substances in the previous 30 days. The data indicate that youth who engage in some high risk behaviors are likely to be engaging in others, and findings suggest that interventions targeting multiple high risk behaviors may be more effective in getting youth to adopt healthy behaviors than programs targeting single behaviors. Tables of data are included. (Contains 17 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Health Statistics (DHHS/PHS), Hyattsville, MD.