CONFERENCE PROCEEDING
Adolescents’ tobacco use perception and their attitude toward anti-smoking campaigns
 
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Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
 
 
Publication date: 2022-07-05
 
 
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A66
 
ABSTRACT
Background:
Researchers agree that smoking by adolescents causes a range of significant and long-lasting health issues, including a negative effect on brain development. According to the WHO, most smokers have had their first cigarette or were already addicted by the age of 18 years. The increased popularity of e-cigarettes seems to be shifting the known paradigm of smoking addiction especially among young people.

Objective:
The objective of the presented research is to describe and understand adolescents’ perception of tobacco use. The focus is given on indicating attributes related to traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and on the differences in mode of use of both. Utilizing the results, we aim to formulate a set of guidelines supporting creation of an effective anti-smoking campaign focused at young people.

Methods:
We use qualitative research, utilizing focus-group interviews. The sample included six focus groups, consisting of smokers and non-smokers, situated in three different cities in Poland. The interviewees were young adults aged 16–18 years, coming from a variety of backgrounds. Interviews were transcribed and further analyzed using the template analysis approach.

Results:
The conducted analysis indicates a clear distinction between the attributes assigned to traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Peer pressure still plays a significant role on the decision to start smoking despite the type of cigarette. Yet, e-cigarettes are perceived principally as entertainment and are associated with youth. Although the respondents are aware of the health-related consequences of smoking, knowledge about e-cigarettes is limited and the motivation to quit is low. The immediate comfort provided by smoking seems to overwhelm the health issues, which are perceive postponed in time.

Conclusions:
The research provides a new perspective on perception and use of e-cigarettes among young adults. Based on the results, it might be speculated that addressing the campaigns for different age-levels, focusing on factors influencing smoking behaviors at each stage, as well as following the ‘youth culture’, may provide better results.

eISSN:2459-3087