Poor academic achievement is strongly related to smoking but studies that examine the mechanism between academic achievement and smoking are lacking. The aim of this study, therefore, was to examine the smoking-related cognitions (i.e. attitude, social influence, self-efficacy and intention to smoke) in relation to academic achievement and determine whether these cognitions explain different patterns of smoking.
The study uses the data of a longitudinal study that was carried out in Finland, and the sample comprised 1,096 students in grades seven to nine.
During the seventh-grade students with poor academic achievement reported more positive attitudes to smoking and a greater social influence of their peers regarding smoking, weaker self-efficacy to refuse smoking and more intentions to smoke in the future compared to students with high academic achievement. Moreover, the follow-up analyses after a 24-month interval revealed that self-efficacy to refuse smoking of students with poor grades had become weaker compared to students with high grades. Furthermore, the influence of seventh-grade academic achievement predicting ninth-grade weekly smoking was partially mediated through the self-efficacy beliefs and the intention to smoke.
Differences in academic achievement may have an impact on adolescents' self-efficacy beliefs and the intention to smoke in the future. To reduce health inequalities a strong input on continuing research to improve smoking prevention methods, especially for students with low academic achievement, is needed.
The aim of this study was to explore a longitudinal bi-directional relationship between school achievement and smoking behavior. The sample consists of 2,188 Finnish students in grades 7-9. Data were collected at three separate occasions between the years 1998 and 2000. Three hypothesized conceptual models were developed and tested using path analyses by structural equation modeling (SEM). Students that performed poorly at school smoked weekly six times more than those who achieved the highest school grade point averages at the age of 15. Using SEM, the findings suggest that not only does deterioration of school achievement contribute to progression in smoking uptake continuum but also vice versa progression in smoking uptake continuum to deterioration of school achievement over time (CFI = .997). There were no moderating effects of gender or treatment condition in the proposed models. Both deterioration of school achievement and progression in smoking uptake continuum predicted changes in other behavior during the first two years in secondary school in Finland.
Low socio-economic status (SES) is strongly related to smoking, but studies examining the association of SES with nicotine dependence (ND) are scarce. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of SES and marital status with smoking, multiple measures of ND, and cotinine as a nicotine intake biomarker.
The sample comprised 1746 ever smokers, sampled from the National FINRISK 2007 Study, who had completed a tobacco specific questionnaire in addition to the standard clinical examination. The Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), the Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI), the Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (NDSS), and the Hooked On Nicotine Checklist (HONC) were assessed, while plasma cotinine was measured as a biomarker of nicotine exposure in daily smokers. Univariate and multivariate associations were assessed by linear regression and multinomial logistic regression.
In multivariate models, lower education was associated with higher FTND and HSI, income with HSI, and occupation with HSI (men only), FTND, HONC and NDSS scores. Lower education was related to higher cotinine levels among daily smokers, although the association diminished slightly after adjusting for daily smoking amount. Living without a spouse was associated with daily smoking and higher ND.
In this cross-sectional study low SES was linked with higher ND among current smokers, while low SES was associated with higher cotinine levels among daily smokers. Living alone was linked with higher ND. Longitudinal studies are warranted to further explore these associations. As lower SES smokers are more addicted they may need more targeted cessation services to succeed in quitting smoking.