Dissertation study on associations and students’ views of smoking in vocational school setting
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University of Tampere, Finland
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A119
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Internationally adolescent smoking among vocational schools are similar to unemployed youth. In Finland, smoking among vocational schools (36%) is 4.5 times more common than in upper secondary schools (8%).

The study used two types of datasets: 1) the first phase of the study utilized Health Promotion study (2013), a quantitative nationally representative sample (n= 34776) collected by the Institute for Health and Welfare and 2) the second phase used qualitative focus group interviews (N=29). First, the association between adolescent smoking and social involvement using statistical methods such as multinomial regression analyses. Second, discourse analysis analyzed qualitative focus group interviews.

Parental involvement reflected less adolescent smoking. Students who smoked daily perceived getting less support for teachers, liked school less and were absent for truancy more than those who did not smoke. Moreover, having a close friend/friends, school staff smoking at school premises and bullying increased the likelihood of smoking. Nursing assistant students normalized smoking, felt that they smoked responsibly, thought that their smoking was under control and felt that smoking was a part of their identity.

The information produced by the study may enhance parents’ knowledge of the importance of involvement with their teen's life and to acknowledge the impact of their smoking on adolescent smoking uptake. Vocational training should be further developed, increasing student connectedness, decreasing bullying and prohibiting smoking in school surroundings in accordance with the law of tobacco (2016). In cessation guidance and programs, strong peer attachment and smoker identity should be more acknowledged.

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