A study of adolescent smoking and drinking in Korea

청소년들의 흡연 및 음주 실태

  • Yu, Byung Keun (Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Korea University) ;
  • Oh, Yeon Joung (Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Korea University) ;
  • Lee, Jin Chul (Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Korea University) ;
  • Lee, Kee-Hyoung (Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Korea University) ;
  • Min, Jung Hye (Department of Pediatrics, Hongik General Hospital) ;
  • Park, Sang Hee (Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Korea University)
  • 유병근 (고려대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실) ;
  • 오연정 (고려대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실) ;
  • 이진철 (고려대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실) ;
  • 이기형 (고려대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실) ;
  • 민정혜 (홍익병원 소아청소년과) ;
  • 박상희 (고려대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실)
  • Received : 2008.09.16
  • Accepted : 2008.10.19
  • Published : 2009.04.15


Purpose : Adolescence is a period of growth and development in body structure and physiologic, psychologic, and social functioning. Smoking and drinking in this period are very harmful and may lead to other forms of substance abuse. We surveyed the actual aspects of smoking and drinking among Korean adolescents and analyzed associated factors. Methods : A survey was performed among adolescents using a questionnaire about smoking and drinking. Data were collected from students who visited pediatric clinics for routine school examinations from July to November 2007. Results : A total of 2,546 adolescents (smoking 1,512; drinking 1,034) participated in the study. The overall smoking and drinking rates were 29.2% and 48.2%, respectively, and the mean age at the first instance of smoking and drinking was 13.8 and 14.1 years, respectively. Among drinking adolescents, 30.1% were offered a drink by their parents, although most adolescents were encouraged to smoke or drink by their friends. Dissatisfaction with family and school life, economic status, and school performance was associated with a higher smoking and drinking rate (P<0.001). Broken families were associated with a high rate of smoking, but peer satisfaction was not related to smoking or drinking. The frequency and amount of smoking and drinking in adolescents were as high as those in adults. Social sanctions seemed insufficient to keep adolescents from smoking and drinking. Conclusion : Adolescent smoking and drinking are highly influenced by family and school environments, so more active social sanctions are required, including parental involvement and legislation preventing adolescents from smoking and drinking.


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