Adolescent attitudes towards cigarette smoking in two societies

I. M. Newman, G. L. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper explores the attitudes towards smoking among two matched samples of smokers and non smokers from New Zealand and from the USA. Results indicate that cigarette smokers from the two cultural groups are more similar in their attitudes towards cigarette smoking than the non smokers. This report is based on attitudinal data gathered from a matched sample of 955 New Zealand and 955 US students, consisting of 276 pairs of smokers and 679 pairs of non smokers from each of the two societies. These students represented both rural and urban areas and all levels of the socio economic scale. Further, the results suggest that educational materials developed to encourage non smoking behaviour in one country may not be equally applicable in another country. In other words, smoking is encouraged by similar factors in the two societies but discouraged by different factors. For example, the findings that New Zealand non smokers, when compared to US non smokers, tended to disagree with the importance of peer respect, freedom from parents and being part of a group as being associated with smoking, suggest that a more individualized approach to education (one should decide for oneself) coupled with objective information (filter tip cigarettes are safer), might be more important in influencing non smoking behaviour among New Zealand students than among US students. These data also suggest that it might be more effective to develop local materials which are based on an intimate knowledge of the local people and their conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Health Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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