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The influence of media, family, and peers, on the decision to smoke of university students

Influencia de medios de comunicación, familiares y pares sobre la decisión de fumar de universitarios


Introduction. The influence of mass media, family and friends on university students is directly related to the decision to smoke. The current government policies that regulate publicity about tobacco are insufficient and should go beyond the health dimension. Smoking is a preventable cause of death. Aim. To understand the influence that mass media, family and peers have on university students that smoke. Participants. 160 university students that belong to the Unidad Académica Profesional de Nezahualcóyotl of the Universidad Autónoma of the State of Mexico. Results. 50% smoke, 24% started smoking on their own, and 22% at the behest of a peer. The influences are: 45% from friends; 30% from family members; 14% from singers or actors. We also found a 49% influence from mass media. Conclusions. It is important to know how and with whom tobacco consumption occurs in order to develop appropriate policy responses. Addictions are a public health problem that demand broad, comprehensive, and coordinated action covering a variety of societal areas such as health, family and the school system.