Tobacco Use Among Argentinean Youth: A Cohort Study
Smoking behavior and the values and beliefs that influence this behavior are acquired during childhood and adolescence and are heavily influenced by individual, cultural, familial, and social factors. To further our knowledge of the smoking behavior of adolescents, we will conduct a longitudinal school based survey among high school youth of two ethnic groups (Kolla and European descent) in the province of Jujuy, Argentina (Jujuy thereafter). Specifically, the goals of this study are to assess the prevalence of smoking behavior, as well as the predisposing, reinforcing, and facilitating factors associated with smoking acquisition within this population. Based on the descriptive study, we will develop and pilot test components of a tobacco prevention intervention across youth of different social and cultural characteristics. Finally, we will implement a multicomponent training component for researchers from Jujuy and northwest Argentina. The specific aims of the study are as follows: Aim 1. To identify the patterns of transition from smoking susceptibility to initiation to experimentation to regular smoking in a cohort of 3000 urban and rural 8th grade public high school youth of Kolla and European descent in Jujuy for a period of three years. Aim 2. To define the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and contextual factors (e.g., peer influence, the value of health, urban/rural residence, socioeconomic status, media exposure, and smoking restrictions) that affect the development of smoking among a cohort of 3,000 8th grade students of Kolla and European descent. Aim 3. To develop and pilot test components of a culturally appropriate intervention in the public high school, of Jujuy with the goal of modifying smoking behavior. The intervention will target modification of predisposing and reinforcing factors for smoking.