Late adolescent female smoking
Although there have been intense efforts to reduce the prevalence of cigarette smoking in the past three decades, smoking continues to be a critical public health problem. An area of particular concern is the increasing number of young women who are smoking. Gender specific research usually does not examine factors affecting smoking behaviours. Information on late adolescent female smoking is not readily found in the literature. The aims of this study were to explore the smoking patterns and processes of late adolescent females and to explore factors which may or may not be helpful in assisting them to stop smoking. A qualitative ethnographic approach was used to uncover the perceptions of 25 adolescent girls of their behaviour. Data were collected using tape-recorded semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire. Items for the questionnaire were derived from the Manitoba Youth Smoking Survey and from the Fagerstrorn Nicotine Tolerance Scale. Qualitative analysis resulted in four stories about smoking: the start story, the smoking story, the quit story, and the looking to the future story. Although many of the findings are congruent with the existing literature, much of the data reflected the purposive nature of smoking in late adolescent girls. Study findings support the need for holistic approaches to health promotion to ameliorate factors affecting smoking behaviour.