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LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 241
 

Adolescent tobacco use and role model influence: Interpreting it right!


1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication22-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
Raman Deep Pattanayak
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.86532

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How to cite this article:
Pattanayak RD, Pattanayak SK. Adolescent tobacco use and role model influence: Interpreting it right!. Indian J Community Med 2011;36:241

How to cite this URL:
Pattanayak RD, Pattanayak SK. Adolescent tobacco use and role model influence: Interpreting it right!. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 May 29];36:241. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2011/36/3/241/86532


Sir,

We read with interest the original research article titled "Tobacco use among adolescent students and the influence of role models." [1] We wish to add a few points that may affect the interpretation of study findings and have not been discussed by authors.

First, South Delhi is a relatively affluent part compared with the rest of Delhi. This may have contributed to the unusually higher prevalence of smoking seen in the female sample. It is well known that women who are more affluent, well educated, and live in urban areas are more likely to initiate smoking. [2]

Second, the study observed an association of tobacco use in adolescents with having seen the role models (elders, friends, sibling, and celebrity) smoking. However, it should not lead to an assumption that "role modeling" per se is the reason for smoking initiation. For example, a permissive family atmosphere, dysfunctional family, stressors, and shared personality traits may explain the smoking initiation in both the adolescent and the other "role model" family member. Similarly, one may choose one's friends based on common values and compatibility. The study has not addressed these issues in the discussion.

Third, we felt that the references to several important Indian studies were conspicuously missing. Particularly worthy of mention are a pioneering study of adolescent tobacco use in Delhi college population [3] and another study which was part of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey and in addition to prevalence, it also evaluated the influence of role model smoking. [4]

Not-so-long-ago, all of us have witnessed a nationwide controversy regarding the influence of celebrity role models on teenage smoking. Putting this issue into context, the answers to such controversies and debate lies in carefully conducted, large-sample studies exploring the various factors responsible for onset of smoking behavior.

 
   References Top

1.Sharma R, Grover VL, Chaturvedi S. Tobacco use among adolescent students and the influence of role models. Indian J Community Med 2010;35:272-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Amos A. Women and smoking. Br Med Bull 1996;52:74-89.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
3.Mohan D, Arora A. Prevalence and patterns of drug abuse among Delhi University College students. J Indian Med Assoc 1976;66:28-33.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.Siziya S, Muula AS, Rudatsikira E. Correlates of current cigarette smoking among school-going adolescents in Punjab, India: Results from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2003. BMC Int Health Hum Rights 2008;8:1.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  




 

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