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Some relevant factors in the consumption and non consumption of nicotine in adolescence


Elena Gervilla, Berta Cajal, and Alfonso Palmer


Abstract: Tobacco is the second most consumed substance among Spanish adolescents and its effects on health are well known. The aim of this study is to analyze the predictor value of different personal, family and environmental factors on tobacco consumption in the adolescent population using appropriate modelling techniques and strategies included in Data Mining. The total sample is made up of 9,300 students aged between 14 and 18 years. The adolescents anonymously answered a questionnaire which asked about the frequency of use of addictive substances as well as a series of psychosocial variables. Tobacco consumption by friends, frequency of nights out, age, production of prohibited, impulsive behaviour and the control exerted by parents bear a statistically significant influence on the number of cigarettes consumed per week and constitute risk factors for initiating consumption. Future studies should analyze, using the techniques proposed in this work and longitudinal studies, whether the tougher anti-smoking laws have been transformed into a decrease in tobacco consumption in adolescents.


Keywords: nicotine; adolescence; data mining; decision tree.



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