Socioeconomic position and early adolescent smoking development: evidence from the British Youth Panel Survey (1994-2008)

Green, M. J. , Leyland, A. H. , Sweeting, H. and Benzeval, M. (2016) Socioeconomic position and early adolescent smoking development: evidence from the British Youth Panel Survey (1994-2008). Tobacco Control, 25(2), pp. 203-210. (doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051630) (PMID:25380762) (PMCID:PMC4789819)

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Abstract

Objective: Smoking usually develops in adolescence and is patterned by socioeconomic position (SEP). We examined whether early adolescent smoking development and associations with SEP have changed over time in a population with well-developed tobacco control policies. We additionally investigated the relative importance of socioeconomic inequalities at different stages of smoking development. Methods: An annual UK rotating panel survey including data from 5122 adolescents (51% male) aged 11–15 years between 1994 and 2008. Rates of smoking initiation, progression to occasional smoking (experimentation), progression to daily smoking (escalation), and quitting were examined using discrete-time event history analysis. Results: Initiation, experimentation and escalation rates declined over the study period while quitting rates increased. Decreases in initiation were concentrated among older adolescents and decreases in escalation among those who spent a year or two as occasional smokers. Socioeconomic disadvantage was associated with higher rates of initiation and escalation, with similar findings across SEP measures. Inequalities in initiation were stronger at younger ages. There was less evidence of associations between SEP and quitting or experimentation. Inequalities in escalation remained constant over time, while inequalities in initiation widened before narrowing. Further modelling suggested that differential initiation rates contributed more to inequalities in daily smoking at age 15 than did differential escalation. Conclusions: Increasing tobacco control in the UK is associated with reduced uptake and more quitting in early adolescence, but socioeconomic inequalities remain. Interventions should focus on reducing inequalities in initiation among early adolescents.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Green, Dr Michael and Benzeval, Dr Michaela and Leyland, Professor Alastair and Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: Green, M. J., Leyland, A. H., Sweeting, H., and Benzeval, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Tobacco Control
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0964-4563
ISSN (Online):1468-3318
Published Online:07 November 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Tobacco Control 25(2): 203-210
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656601Measuring Health, Variations in Health and Determinants of HealthAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/5IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
656581Gender and HealthKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/3IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
650121Socioeconomic Status as a Common Cause for Smoking, Drinking, and Anxiety and Depression over the LifecourseMichael GreenChief Scientist office (CSO)DTF/11/16IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU