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Which sociodemographic factors are important on smoking behaviour of high school students? The contribution of classification and regression tree methodology in a broad epidemiological survey
  1. C Özge1,
  2. F Toros2,
  3. E Bayramkaya3,
  4. H Çamdeviren4,
  5. T Şaşmaz5
  1. 1Department of Chest Disease, Mersin University School of Medicine, Mersin, Turkey
  2. 2Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mersin University School of Medicine
  3. 3Department of Psychology, Mersin University School of Science and Letters
  4. 4Biostatistics, Mersin University School of Medicine
  5. 5Public Health, Mersin University School of Medicine
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C Özge
 Fatih Mah, İstanbul Evleri C Blok D:5, 33170, Mezitli, Mersin, Turkey; cengizozge{at}


Background: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the most important sociodemographic factors on smoking status of high school students using a broad randomised epidemiological survey.

Methods: Using in-class, self administered questionnaire about their sociodemographic variables and smoking behaviour, a representative sample of total 3304 students of preparatory, 9th, 10th, and 11th grades, from 22 randomly selected schools of Mersin, were evaluated and discriminative factors have been determined using appropriate statistics. In addition to binary logistic regression analysis, the study evaluated combined effects of these factors using classification and regression tree methodology, as a new statistical method.

Results: The data showed that 38% of the students reported lifetime smoking and 16.9% of them reported current smoking with a male predominancy and increasing prevalence by age. Second hand smoking was reported at a 74.3% frequency with father predominance (56.6%). The significantly important factors that affect current smoking in these age groups were increased by household size, late birth rank, certain school types, low academic performance, increased second hand smoking, and stress (especially reported as separation from a close friend or because of violence at home). Classification and regression tree methodology showed the importance of some neglected sociodemographic factors with a good classification capacity.

Conclusions: It was concluded that, as closely related with sociocultural factors, smoking was a common problem in this young population, generating important academic and social burden in youth life and with increasing data about this behaviour and using new statistical methods, effective coping strategies could be composed.

  • smoking
  • second hand smoking
  • high school
  • students
  • sociodemographic variables
  • classification and regression tree methodology

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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