Future Smoking Intentions at Critical Ages among Students in Two Chinese High Schools

  • Xiang ZhaoEmail author
  • Katherine M. White
  • Ross McD Young
Brief Report



China is the world’s largest tobacco consumer. Smoking initiation dramatically increases from teenage to adulthood. In this study, we investigated adolescents’ future smoking intention at critical ages and its associated predictors.


Using a longitudinal design (3 waves) across 6 months in 2016, data from 156 10th graders in two high schools in China were examined. We used latent class growth modelling to explore the heterogeneous trajectories of smoking intentions for two future age groups. Logistic regression was then used to estimate the predictors of trajectories.


Two trajectories and three trajectories were identified for future smoking intention in their twenties and forties, respectively. Gender, current smoking status, and mothers’ and friends’ smoking status all played distinct roles in future smoking intentions.


Chinese adolescents’ future intentions at critical ages are of concern. Future tobacco control should target the critical ages as well as incorporate social and cultural meanings of smoking in China. As important factors related to future smoking trajectories, gender and mothers’ smoking status should also be considered in anti-smoking prevention efforts. Meanings associated with smoking status in the future should also be explored especially for female adolescents.


Smoking Adolescence China Critical age Future intention Gender 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and Counselling and Institute of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and Institute of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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