Factors in adolescence representing the risk of subsequent smoking

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Arvo building, Jarmo Visakorpi auditorium, address: Arvo Ylpön katu 34.

Antti Saari

Doctoral defence of Lic.Med. Antti J. Saari

Factors in adolescence representing the risk of subsequent smoking

The field of science of the dissertation is General Practice.

The opponent is professor Pekka Mäntyselkä (University of Eastern Finland). Professor Elise Kosunen acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is Finnish.

Factors in adolescence representing the risk of adulthood smoking

Smoking initiation and continuing smoking are affected By several factors within the smoker as well as his/her social environment. This study aimed to find out how the smoking of the social Network, oral health status or self-esteem of an adolescence are associated with his/her smoking in adulthood. The study population consist of the age cohort born on 1979 and living in Ostrobothnia. The age cohort participated on an earlier study on brief tobacco interventions when they were 12-16 years old. During the earlier study their oral health status, self-esteem and smoking behavior were monitored. Half of the cohort annually received brief tobacco interventions that were then found out to be uneffective. In 2008 they received a follow-up questionnaire to clarify their smoking behavior and health in adulthood. Responses were received from 1020 subjects (39.4% of the original cohort).

The smoking behavior of the close friend in adulthood was clearly linked with smoking of the respondent. In females, adulthood smoking was linked with the smoking of their close friend in adulthood, but this was not the case with males. The smoking behavior of parents and siblings was not found to have any association with smoking in adulthood. Those adolescents, who were non- smokers, but had tooth decay and/or weak self-esteem during adolescence, were more likely to smoke in adulthood. No long-term effects of the brief interventions were shown in this study.

The results of this study reinforce the paradigm that smoking often occurs parallel with other hazardous attributes. These include inadequate oral care, following the example set by smoking friends and weak self-esteem. Using these factors, it is possible to point out adolescents that are at a higher risk of becoming smokers.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2393, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2018. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1902, Tampere University Press 2018.

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