An analysis was made of the attitude items of a questionnaire completed by 276 cigarette smokers and 679 nonsmokers from South Island high schools. Results indicate that adolescent cigarette smokers and non smokers agreed that smoking is not an impossible habit to stop and that basically adolescents smoke to be part of the group and to show their independence from authority. The sex of the respondents had little effect on attitudes towards smoking. The most significant result of this research is the indication that attitudes toward smoking do not appear to change with the age of the respondent. The attitudes of thirteen and fourteen year olds, both smokers and nonsmokers, towards smoking, were essentially the same as the eighteen year old students. It appeared that attitudes towards smoking had been established prior to the high school years and that the high school experience had little or no influence on attitudes towards cigarette smoking. It is concluded that educators and health workers need to reassess the role of education in teaching about such potentially harmful habits as cigarette smoking and carefully consider the need for educational programs designed to modify attitudes and behaviors prior to the time of their establishment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||New Zealand Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1973|
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