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Changes of Cigarette Smoking Initiation Age among South Korean Adults: 2007-2012
Journal of the Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2017; 8(1): 20-28
Published online June 15, 2017
© 2017 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Hee Won Kim, Si Nae Kang, Ji Sun Lim, Jung Ah Lee, Hong-Jun Cho*

Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Received May 22, 2017; Revised June 5, 2017; Accepted June 7, 2017.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
 Abstract

Background: Early initiation of cigarette smoking is associated with higher risk of nicotine dependence and negative health outcomes. We analyzed the changes of factors associated with smoking initiation age from 2007 to 2012 in Korea.

Methods: The study subjects were 35,996 current smokers 돟19 years old in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2012. Smoking initiation age was divided into three groups; 돞18, 19-29, and 돟30 years old. Logistic regression analysis was performed to compare participants who started smoking 竊19 years old and 돟19 years old after adjusting sociodemographic variables.

Results: The average smoking initiation age was 19.5 years old in 2007 and 19.8 years old in 2012, and for men it did not change significantly from 18.8 years old in 2007 to 19.1 years old in 2012, but for women it decreased from 25.4 years old in 2007 to 23.6 years old in 2012. When we divided the smokers into three groups (돞18, 19-29 and 돟30 years old), proportion of smokes for each groups did not change significantly among men. However for women smokers who initiated smoking 돞18 and 돟30 years old decreased from 37.5% to 33.4% and from 32.0% to 21.7% from 2007 to 2012, respectively, but who initiated smoking 19-29 years old increased from 30.5% to 44.9% from 2007 to 2012. On multivariate analysis, compared with smokers who initiated smoking 돟19 year old, smokes who initiated smoking 돞18 years old were younger and in the lower educational level. Smokers who were 19-29 years old were 9 times more chance of initiating smoking 돞18 years old than smokers who were 돟50 years old. In addition, smokers who was educated 돞6 years were more chance of initiating smoking 돞18 years old than who graduated high school. Furthermore people who initiated 돞18 years old smoked more the number of cigarettes per day.

Conclusion: Women셲 smoking initiation age was much older than men became younger between 2007 and 2012 in Korea and cigarette smoking initiation age did not change among men during those periods. Tobacco control policy should consider gender difference of smoking initiation in Korea.

Keywords : Smoking; Socioeconomic factors; Age of smoking onset
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