An examination of exposure and avoidance behavior related to second-hand cigarette smoke among adolescent girls in Canada

Jennifer Schwartz, Raquel B. Graham, Chris G. Richardson, Chizimuzo T. Okoli, Laura L. Struik, Joan L. Bottorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although rates of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) are declining in Canada, SHS exposure among non-smoking adolescents remains high. This study aimed to describe frequency, locations, and avoidance behavior related to SHS exposure among adolescent girls in British Columbia, Canada. Methods. Data were analyzed from 841 adolescent girls aged 13 to 15 years old who completed an internet-delivered survey as part of a cohort study examining SHS exposure and substance use. Measures assessed demographics, smoking behavior and intentions, frequency and locations of SHS exposure, and avoidance behavior related to SHS. Results: Excluding their own smoking, 27% of girls reported exposure at least once a week and an additional 17% reported daily or almost daily exposure over the past month. Among girls who reported daily or almost daily exposure, the locations of most frequent levels of high exposure were in the home, at or near school, inside a vehicle, and outdoor public places. Avoidance behavior related to SHS exposure significantly differed by overall SHS exposure in the past month. Conclusions: Despite historically low smoking rates, many adolescent girls continue to report regular SHS exposure in multiple locations in British Columbia. Girls with the most frequent exposure were significantly less likely to report habitual avoidance behavior related to SHS compared to those less frequently exposed. This study elucidates settings of high SHS exposure among adolescent girls that could be targeted in future policy interventions. Additionally, future interventions could target adolescent girls who are frequently exposed to SHS and report infrequent avoidance behavior around their SHS exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number468
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by funding from the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (grant # 020659), and from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to Chris G. Richardson, PhD.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Females
  • Risk reduction behavior
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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