Doctoral dissertation

Salma El Amin: Use and Determinants of Various Types of Tobacco Products: Study Among Finnish and Sudanese Adolescents and Young Adults

Salma El Amin
The dissertation study of M.D. Salma El Amin offers key insights about the status and factors affecting the use of five different tobacco products by adolescents and young adults from Sudan and Finland at various points in time. Parents’ tobacco use is a key factor on youth smoking, and the likelihood of youth smoking is significantly increased when both parents smoke, with more effect of the mother.

The framework applied to examine the influences on individual behaviour regarding tobacco use is organized from the perspective of family factors, community norms, the significance of the environmental and social context, and societal policies. These factors include attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour embedded within the contextual neighbourhoods, universities, schools, and places in which youngsters reside.

All these factors together were considered in the study and they considerably increase the strength of the information and the accompanying discussion. The main goal is to understand the most important influential factors that drive the young to use and continue using tobacco. This doctoral dissertation is comprised of four discrete research sub-studies that used three data sets.

The main findings highlight the importance of the influences of tobacco use by parents, maternal and paternal grandparents, friends, and teachers on the use of cigarettes, water-pipe, tombak (Sudanese form of smokeless tobacco), snus, and electronic cigarettes by adolescents.

Parents’ tobacco use is a key factor on youth smoking, and the likelihood of youth smoking is significantly increased when both parents smoke, with more effect of the mother. In addition, the Finnish grandparents’ smoking was found to be transmitted directly and indirectly to their grandchildren and influences them to smoke and to use other kinds of tobacco products as well as vaping.

The study also highlights the effects of exposure to residential smoking and school smoking policies on the tobacco use by young university-level students. The findings point to the pivotal role of the school environment, including the role of teachers’ use of tobacco on students’ tobacco use in general and especially regarding smoking on school premises.

Incontestably, the discussion about tobacco use varies significantly between Sudan and Finland, and the comparisons are nuanced, as the two communities differ economically and culturally. Communities vary in their susceptibility to many factors that may play out differently within the same country and even in the same household. Tobacco use influence by communities may also be affected by the existence of cultural differences among regions and countries. Despite these cultural and the geographical differences, the study concluded that the two countries meet at the point that the tobacco uses by their adolescents are similar regarding the influences and the sources and the risk factors targeting the same age population.

The conclusions emerging from the study evidenced with no doubt the significant influence of school environment and policies, residential smoking, smoking parents and grandparents and their use of tombak and snus on adolescents’ tobacco use, with a higher risk of smoking initiation among both the Sudanese and Finnish adolescents.

From contextual evidence and findings, the results of the study provide information for decision-makers and health providers to create effective policies and programs and to adapt prevention strategies for different kinds of tobacco products, particularly those targeted at youth and adolescents.  

The doctoral dissertation of MD Salma El Amin in the field of Health Sciences entitled Use and Determinants of Various Types of Tobacco Products; Study Among Finnish and Sudanese Adolescents and Young Adults  will be publicly examined at 12 o'clock on Friday 7 May, 2021 at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Tampere University. Docent Tellervo Korhonen from University of Helsinki will be the opponent while Professor Arja Rimpelä will act as the custos.

The event can be followed via remote connection.

The dissertation is available online at
http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-03-1920-5

Photo: Salma El Amin

 

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