Reasons for smoking among male teenagers in Tehran, Iran: Two case- control studies using snowball sampling

International Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume 4 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Objectives: Identifying the underlying factors contributing to smoking among teenagers is important in establishing smoking control programs. The present study was designed to identify and compare factors revealed in a preceding qualitative study conducted on 13-15 year-old boys living in two different socioeconomic districts in the Northern and Southern parts of Tehran. Methods: Two completely similar case-control studies, each with 200 subjects, were conducted using a snowball sampling. The case and control subjects were matched based on the intimacy relations, i.e. six smokers were recruited in each of the Northern and Southern districts; they were then asked to introduce one of their smoker friends as a case and a non-smoker one as a control. Results: Multi-variable conditional logistic regression revealed that having a smoker father is the single effective factor in the two districts. As for boys living in the Northern (wealthier) part of the city, social capital (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.43-0.81) played a protective role against smoking, whereas quitting home after a quarrel (OR: 15.07, 95% CI: 1.54-147.25), monthly allowance (OR: 2.22, 95% CI: 1.29-3.82) and hyperactivity (OR: 1.69, 95% CI: 2.64- 240.45) were associated with a higher risk of becoming a smoker. Conclusions: The studied variables can be classified as personal, familial, and school-level factors. Familial intervention is effective for all the factors which revealed to be influential on the risk of becoming a smoker. It could be concluded that interventions on the family level should be used to prevent the cigarette use in Tehran.