• adolescents;
  • ethnicity;
  • gender;
  • nonsmokers;
  • susceptibility to smoking

ABSTRACT Objective: To document the prevalence of susceptibility to smoking among a sample of White/Caucasian and Chinese Canadian adolescent nonsmokers, and to explore the factors that might explain who is susceptible to smoking.

Design: This study used a secondary analysis of data from students participating in the British Columbia Youth Survey on Smoking and Health in 2001/2002.

Sample: The sample included 1,870 10th and 11th graders who were nonsmokers with either a White or a Chinese ethnic background.

Measurements: Questionnaire data consisted of demographic and social factors, previous smoking experience, and susceptibility to smoking.

Results: Among the total sample, 27.7% were susceptible to smoking. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that 11th graders were less susceptible than 10th graders (odds ratio [OR]=0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.64–0.99), and girls were more susceptible than boys (OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.05–1.65). Ethnicity did not help to explain susceptibility to smoking in this study.

Conclusions: The findings indicated the effects of gender and grade on predicting susceptibility to smoking. Even though the Chinese Canadian adolescents had the same risk of susceptibility to smoking as White/Caucasians, the factors that put them at risk may be different, which suggests the need to further examine the ethnic-specific predictors of susceptibility to smoking.