Mobile Phone Use does not Discourage Adolescent Smoking in Japan

Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Tottori, Japan.
Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP (Impact Factor: 2.51). 03/2012; 13(3):1011-4. DOI: 10.7314/APJCP.2012.13.3.1011
Source: PubMed


The possibility that smoking prevalence among junior and senior high school students may decrease with increasing mobile phone bill was reported by the mass media in Japan. We conducted a nationwide survey on adolescent smoking and mobile phone use in Japan in order to assess the hypothesis that mobile phone use has replaced smoking.
A total of 70 junior high schools (response rate; 71%), and 69 high schools (90%) from all over Japan responded to 2005 survey. Students in the responding schools were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire about smoking behavior, mobile phone bill, and pocket money. Questionnaires were collected from 32,615 junior high school students and 48,707 senior high school students.
The smoking prevalence of students with high mobile phone bill was more likely to be high, and that of students who used mobile phones costing 10,000 yen and over per month was especially high. When "quitters" were defined as students who had tried smoking but were not smoking at the time of survey, the proportion of quitters decreased as the mobile phone bill increased. The proportion of students who had smoking friends increased with the increase in the mobile phone bill per month.
The hypothesis that the decrease in smoking prevalence among Japanese adolescents that has been observed in recent years is due to a mobile phone use can be rejected.

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Available from: Hideyuki Kanda, Mar 12, 2014
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    • "First, due to the cross-sectional and correlational design, no causal inferences can be made. It may be that adolescents who are already at risk for substance use are also at risk for higher levels of EMC (Leena et al. 2005; Osaki et al. 2012), or it may be that adolescents with high levels of substance use are more drawn to EMC because their substance use enhances their social connectedness and standing among peers (Killeya-Jones et al. 2007). Further, it may be that adolescents specifically select peers who already have similar levels of substance use to communicate with via EMC (Stoddard et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the unique associations between electronic media communication (EMC) with friends and adolescent substance use (tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis), over and beyond the associations of face-to-face (FTF) interactions with friends and the average level of classroom substance use. Drawn from the cross-national 2009/2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in The Netherlands, 5,642 Dutch adolescents (M age = 14.29) reported on their substance use, EMC, and FTF interactions. Two-level multilevel analyses (participants nested within classrooms) were run. Electronic media communication was positively associated with adolescent substance use, though significantly more strongly with alcohol (β = 0.15, SE β = 0.02) than with tobacco (β = 0.05, SE β = 0.02, t (5,180) = 3.33, p < 0.001) or cannabis use (β = 0.06, SE β = 0.02, t (5,160) = 2.79, p < 0.01). Further, EMC strengthened several positive associations of FTF interactions and average classroom substance use with adolescent substance use. Electronic media communication was uniquely associated with substance use, predominantly with alcohol use. Thus, adolescents' EMC and other online behaviors should not be left unnoticed in substance use research and prevention programs.
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