Background. Latino youth have been found to have a higher prevalence of tobacco use than do other ethnic groups, possibly due to cultural factors and parental influences. Methods. Seventh-grade students (N = 589) were surveyed in San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, to assess parental influences to smoke. These parental influence variables were studied with logistic regression, adjusting for age, sex, and number of parents who smoke. Results. Among those whose parents smoke, Mexican students were asked to strike a match to light their parents′ cigarettes significantly more often (57%) than Mexican-American students (37%) and U.S. Others (37%) (P < 0.05). Seventeen percent of the Mexican students reported having lit a cigarette in their own mouth for their parents, compared to 18% of Mexican-Americans and only 3% of U.S. Others (P < 0.01). Mexicans reported buying cigarettes for their parents more often (62%), compared with 36% for Mexican-Americans and 30% for U.S. Others (P < 0.01). Child smoking was only associated with friend offers of tobacco and parental prompts to light cigarettes in their mouths. Conclusion. Latino parents are inadvertently prompting their children to smoke. Smoking prevention programs targeting Latino youth may need to include a parental tobacco education component.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health