Original Publication Date
BMC Public Health
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Date of Submission
Smoking has a detrimental effect on the symptoms and severity of asthma, a common chronic disease among adolescents. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between asthma and smoking among high school students and assess provider-patient communication with asthmatic adolescents regarding smoking and adolescents’ beliefs about the harms of smoking.
In fall 2014, data from high school students, ages 14–18 years, completing the 2009-2010 Virginia Youth Tobacco Survey (N = 1796) were used in descriptive analyses and multivariable logistic regression models adjusting for model-specific confounders as appropriate.
Overall, an estimated 19 % of high school students in Virginia smoked and 16 % had asthma. Odds of smoking did not differ by asthma status; however, asthmatics had 1.5 times higher odds of being asked if they smoke (95 % CI 1.06–2.13) and being advised not to smoke by a health professional (95 % CI 1.10–2.14) compared to non-asthmatics. Asthmatics who believed second-hand smoke or smoking 1–5 cigarettes/day was not harmful had respectively 4.2 and 2.8 times higher odds of smoking than those who thought each was harmful. Further, asthmatics who thought smoking 1−2 years is safe had 3.4 times higher odds of smoking than those who did not (95 % CI 1.57–10.1).
While asthmatic adolescents are just as likely to smoke as non-asthmatics, less healthy beliefs about the risks of smoking increase the odds of smoking among asthmatics. Thus, targeted asthma-specific smoking prevention and education to change attitudes and beliefs could be an effective tool for adolescents.
© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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VCU Family Medicine and Population Health Publications