Smoking in young swiss men: looking further than prevalence

 

In our previous blog post we discussed current rates of smoking across the world. According to this recent study Switzerland, where our Journal is based, is amongst the countries with a high prevalence of smoking and high consumption, a combination which implies higher health risks. It is, therefore, important to examine different mechanisms that might contribute to smoking, especially amongst young adults.

smoking_men

We recently published a study which looked into smoking, social inequalities and intergenerational transmission of cultural capital and health orientation in young Swiss men. As military service is obligatory in Switzerland, data from 10,546 young adults were collected at recruitment centers.

Dominik Schori and colleagues found that the prevalence of smoking was 30% amongst these group of young men (according to the recent JAMA report, prevalence of smoking in males of all ages in Switzerland is 23.2%). Smoking was negatively associated with young adult health orientation and academic track. Furthermore, young adult health orientation was positively associated with family healthy lifestyle and weakly, but positively associated with parents’ economic capital; it was, however, not associated with parents’ cultural capital.

The authors observed two different mechanisms of intergenerational transmissions relevant to smoking: first, the family transmission path of dispositions, and secondly the structural transmission path of educational inequality. Both mechanisms appear to be independent of each other to a remarkable degree.
What do you think? How much cultural capital and intergenerational transmissions affect smoking?

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