Perspectives on Smoking Initiation and Maintenance: A Qualitative Exploration among Singapore Youth
2.2. Data Collection
2.3. Data Analysis
3.1. Smoking to Fit In: Role of Peers
“This was back when I first started university. They were like, ‘Oh you should try this, don’t be such a… prude, try lah try lah won’t die one.’ Then ok ok try and then I felt like $#% (expletive).” (The language used by participants iscolloquial Singaporean English or Singlish)(‘lah’ in Singlish is a discourse particle, it is used commonly in conversations to indicate the speaker's attitude, or to structure their interactions with other participants).
|Age (in years)||15–29||24|
|Duration of smoking (in years)||1–16||5|
|Education Level||Completed Primary Education||2|
|Secondary Education (Ongoing)||5|
|Completed Secondary Education||23|
|Completed Pre University or|
“How I picked it up. Okay, my sister, she had to babysit me. So in order for her to get out of the house, I’ll have to tag along. So naturally, I would have to mix around with her common clique so that’s where…”.
3.2. Smoking as a Social Tool
“I do feel that smokers are generally friendlier and you actually make more friends during smoke breaks. Especially in university you don’t know anyone, you just start smoking and then you’re like, ‘Oh, didn’t know you’re a smoker. Next time we’ll smoke together.’ You make a lot of friends along the way, even when you’re in a party, you’re invited to all those club and all.”
3.3. Smoking as a Coping Tool
“It relaxes my mind. I need more of cigarettes, I realize, when I’m angry, when I’m frustrated, annoyed at something. That’s when I take more of cigarettes. Then somehow I’ll be more calm.”
3.4. Flavored Cigarettes, Curiosity and Other Reasons for Initiating Smoking
I just tried it because I wanted to make ‘O’s with it.”
3.5. Family Influences and Practices
“How I was brought up and stuff like that was one of the key to me smoking and stuff like that.” “Because I got introduced to, as in my parents and their friends they all smoke so when I was younger I was exposed to such stuff so eventually I think I got okay with it.”
“I won’t take $#% (expletive) from my dad because he smokes so he can’t say that I cannot and… if he ever finds out lah. And also, I dunno, like my sister used to smoke so she also cannot say anything.”
“Sometimes he will offer me cigarettes as well like, my relatives have some leftovers that they buy from overseas and just he pass it to me I’m like – ‘Okay, thanks.’”
3.6. Perceived Health Risks of Smoking
“Yeah kind of, because I also like… I told you I dance and I exercise on the side and I notice like my health really sucks now…I can’t run as fast!”
“Because they say that smoking give you lung cancer. My late grandfather smokes but he died of natural causes, no cancer, no nothing.”
“But once you get out on the road you get banged by car, anytime. The rate of people dying, on the road is more than the people who actually smokes.”“It’s like drinking those carbonated drinks as well. I mean it does give you if you drink too much you get diabetes for example yeah so anything in excess you get illnesses. So for me it’s like a choice that I’m willing to risk, yeah. Something that I want to do.”
“Around our age group we don’t really see our friends passing on like probably we’ll just regret when we are older and stuff.”
3.7. Cost and Other Adverse Effects of Smoking
“It’s like there is this guy named Tom, then some people they will go like, ‘Oh this is a smoker named, Tom’ not, ‘this is a guy named Tom he also happens to be a smoker’ it goes a different way, so it’s like they judge you because you are smoking.”
3.8. Harmful Effects of Smoking to Others and the Environment
“Yeah, and it’s bad for people around me especially kids. I cannot take it when I smoke and then there are kids around me. That, aiyah I feel bad.”(‘Aiyah’ is an expression commonly used in Singapore to mean ‘sigh’).
3.9. Attitudes towards Smoking Policies
“Yeah, yeah, there’s one zone maybe a few estates where you’re totally not allowed to smoke, not even a yellow box.”“I think that they are trying to control the supply side of it but they never look at the demand side of it because I think the demand side of it is a more pressing issue like maybe they could like create some more programs like for smokers to learn how to minimize or reduce then followed by quitting the habit.”
5. Implications for Future Research
Conflict of Interest
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Subramaniam, M.; Shahwan, S.; Fauziana, R.; Satghare, P.; Picco, L.; Vaingankar, J.A.; Chong, S.A. Perspectives on Smoking Initiation and Maintenance: A Qualitative Exploration among Singapore Youth. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8956-8970. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120808956
Subramaniam M, Shahwan S, Fauziana R, Satghare P, Picco L, Vaingankar JA, Chong SA. Perspectives on Smoking Initiation and Maintenance: A Qualitative Exploration among Singapore Youth. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015; 12(8):8956-8970. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120808956Chicago/Turabian Style
Subramaniam, Mythily, Shazana Shahwan, Restria Fauziana, Pratika Satghare, Louisa Picco, Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar, and Siow Ann Chong. 2015. "Perspectives on Smoking Initiation and Maintenance: A Qualitative Exploration among Singapore Youth" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12, no. 8: 8956-8970. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120808956