Mental health problems and smoking among adolescents from Southern Brazil

Ana M B Menezes Samuel C Dumith Jeovany Martínez-Mesa Alexandre Emidio Ribeiro Silva Andreia Morales Cascaes Giovanna Gatica Domínguez Fabiana Vargas Ferreira Giovanny Araújo França Josiane Dias Damé Kátia Márcia António Ngale Cora L Araújo Luciana Anselmi About the authors

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the association between mental health problems and smoking in adolescents. METHODS: A total of 4,325 adolescents aged 15 from the 1993 birth cohort of the city of Pelotas, Southern Brazil, was studied. Smoking was defined as having smoked one or more cigarettes in the previous 30 days. Mental health was assessed according to the total score of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Score > 20 points was considered positive. Data were analyzed using Poisson regression with adjustment for robust variance. RESULTS: Smoking prevalence was 6.0% and about 30% of the adolescents presented some mental health problem. In the crude analysis, the prevalence ratio for smoking was 3.3 (95%CI 2.5; 4.2). After the adjusted analysis (for sex, age, skin color, family income, mother's level of schooling, group of friends who smoke, employment in the previous year, school failure, physical activity during leisure time and experimental use of alcohol), it decreased to 1.7 (95%CI 1.2; 2.3) among those with mental health problem. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health problems in adolescence may be related to tobacco consumption.

Adolescent Behavior; Smoking; Mental Health; Socioeconomic Factors


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