Psychosocial Determinants of Intention to Use Tobacco Among Adolescents in India

Aarti Nagarkar, Swapnil Gadhave


Aim: The present study aims to determine the psychosocial factors associated with ‘intention to use tobacco’, because it is influenced by social norms and beliefs about smoking. Method: A cross-sectional survey on a random sample of 665 individuals, aged 15-20 years, was conducted using a pretested questionnaire. Three logistic regression models were constructed to identify determinants of ‘intention to use tobacco’, with the total sample, with respondents under 18 years old, and with respondents 18 years old and above. Results: Odds of intention to use tobacco were higher when friends used tobacco products, and perceived no negative effects on health. Parental use of tobacco increased the odds of intention to use tobacco, and a similar effect was observed when a celebrity was followed as a role model. Approval of occasional use of tobacco increased the odds of intention to use tobacco. Communication with parents about harmful effects of tobacco reduced the odds of intention to smoke among respondents younger than 18 years old. Conclusion: Social factors and perception of risk significantly influenced the intention to use tobacco. Study results are useful in designing interventions for prevention of tobacco use among adolescents.


tobacco use; risk perception; intention to use tobacco; adolescents; India