This study assessed adolescent smoker and nonsmoker perceptions of strategies that would help an adolescent smoker in his or her attempt to stop smoking. Surveys were distributed primarily in the schools at 4 geographic and ethnically diverse study sites. Respondents were 965 adolescents (49% female; 46% minority). Current smokers (n = 232) were asked to rate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed that supportive behaviors of friends and family, quitting strategies, or learning about quitting strategies would be helpful if they decided to quit. Nonsmokers (n = 733) were asked to indicate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed that these behaviors and strategies would be helpful if a friend decided to quit. Responses to each of the 33 attitude items were rated on a 5-point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Marked differences were observed between smokers and nonsmokers in the level of agreement on each item. In general, smokers reported far less enthusiasm for cessation strategies than nonsmokers. After adjusting for gender, age, and other covariates, smoking status was the strongest independent predictor of the number of items endorsed as agree or strongly agree. The results have implications for the design of peer-based and other interventions for adolescent smokers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Findings from this study were presented in part at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 7th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, March 2001. This research was supported by Grant R01 CA80323 from the National Cancer Institute.