Role of cigarette smoking as a gateway drug to alcohol use in Hispanic junior high school students.

D. M. Parra-Medina, G. Talavera, J. P. Elder, S. I. Woodruff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    BACKGROUND: Many studies have examined predictors of alcohol and other substance use in adolescents, but few have looked specifically at Hispanic adolescents in their junior high school years. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which tobacco use may contribute as a gateway drug for subsequent alcohol use among Hispanic adolescents in San Diego, Calif. METHODS: A multiple regression procedure was used to test if 7th-grade to 9th-grade change in smoking status predicted 9th-grade alcohol use while controlling for a variety of other variables. RESULTS: Among the variables analyzed, increased level of smoking was the strongest predictor of subsequent 9th-grade alcohol use, followed by stronger intentions to drink, female sex, and having grades below a "C." CONCLUSION: 7th- to 9th-grade smoking change is highly predictive of subsequent alcohol use. IMPLICATIONS: The study findings suggest that preventive intervention for alcohol use among Hispanic adolescents should focus on changes in smoking status as a significant risk factor and should examine the role of acculturation and other variations that make this population different from other U.S. subgroups.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)83-86
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute. Monographs
    Issue number18
    StatePublished - 1995

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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