Perceived social and media influences on tobacco use among Samoan youthReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 14:1100

Global health


BackgroundTobacco use among young Pacific populations continues to undermine efforts to reduce the escalating rates of non-communicable disease in the region. Reducing tobacco use to less than 5 percent by 2025 is now a World Health Organisation WHO mandated target for the Pacific region. Yet, little is known about the drivers to uptake of tobacco use among young people in the Pacific. Family and peers are expected to be important in this process, but similarly, tobacco marketing may also play an important role. The tobacco industry has been highly adaptive to the changing media environment across the Pacific Islands. The aim of this study was to develop an understanding of the social cultural and media drivers to tobacco uptake and use among young Samoans to contribute to the design of effective tobacco control intervention.

MethodsWe examined high school students aged 16 and 17 years perceptions of tobacco use in their community, access and use of media channels and the extent to which they are cognizant of both pro and anti-tobacco imagery across a range of media. Data was collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis of the interview data identified common and divergent beliefs, attitudes and behaviours surrounding tobacco use and the influence of the media.

ResultsFamily is critically important for representing normative tobacco use in Samoa. The use of media, in particular digital media, was found to be conditioned by parental views on the use of media in the home. Media access remains highly regulated within more traditional households. Loyalty to traditional cultural practices Fa’a Samoa underpinned views on the limited influence of media on social norms around tobacco use. Parents were thought to have the greatest influence on youth smoking. Tobacco use was viewed as a personal, or family issue, and not a problem that was amendable to change at a societal level.

ConclusionIn order to develop effective and culturally relevant tobacco control policies, the public health community must consider social norms around tobacco use as well as patterns of media use among young Samoans.

KeywordsFamily Social structure Media Youth Tobacco marketing Samoa  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Judith McCool - Becky Freeman - Helen Tanielu


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