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O'Cathail, S. M. and O'Connell, O. J. and Long, N. and Morgan, M. and Eustace, J. A. and Plant, B. J. and Hourihane, J. O' B.
2011
Addictive Behaviors
Association of cigarette smoking with drug use and risk taking behaviour in Irish teenagers
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36
5
547
550
Background: Cigarette smoking has been shown to act as a 'gateway' to cannabis use and further risk taking behaviours. This study aims to (1) establish the prevalence of cigarette smoking and cannabis use in Irish teenagers, (2) to quantify the strength and significance of the association of cigarette smoking and cannabis use and other high risk behaviours and (3) examine whether the above associations are independent of the extent of social networking. Methods: Adolescent students across five urban, non-fee paying schools completed an abridged European schools survey project on alcohol and other drugs (ESPAD) questionnaire. Results: 370/417 (88.7%) students completed the questionnaire. 228 (61.6%) were female, 349 (94.3%) were aged 15-16 years. 48.4% of those surveyed had smoked tobacco at some stage in their lifetime, 18.1% in the last 30 days. 15.1% have used cannabis with 5.7% using it in the last 30 days. 29.6% of cigarette smokers have used cannabis in comparison to 1.6% of non-smokers. On multivariate analysis lifetime cigarette smoking status was independently associated with hard drug use, adjusted OR=6.0, p < 0.01: soft drug use, adjusted OR=4.6, p < 0.01 and high risk sex practises, adjusted OR=10.6, p < 0.05. Conclusions: Cigarette smoking prevalence remains high in Irish teenagers and is significantly associated with drug use and other risk taking behaviours. Specific teenage smoking cessation strategies need to be developed targeting these combined high risk health behaviours. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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