Study of the social factors contributing to youth smoking in an Inuit community / by Michelle, Doucette.
Doucette, Michelle Marie
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Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic have the highest rates of tobacco use of any population in Canada. On average, 70% of Inuit people use tobacco (Godel, 2006; Health Canada, 2005b; Ritchie & Reading 2003). This study investigated tobacco use among Inuit youth. Using a mixed methodology the researcher facilitated the input of a community focus group to direct the study and provide input into the editing of the survey instrument. The focus group adapted a previously existing survey from a study done with Aboriginal youth to make it appropriate for an exclusively Inuit population. The survey questioned the social influences that encouraged youth to begin smoking or to abstain from tobacco use. The study found significant statistical relationships between smoking caregivers and youth smoking as well as low self-reported health status and smoking. The study also found that youth who had a boyfriend or girlfriend had a statistically significant chance of not being a smoker. The results suggest that personal relationships are the most important predictors of smoking status for Inuit youth. The author suggests that future research needs to consider the importance of personal relationships in investigating reasons for smoking and in planning health education and tobacco cessation programs.