Core Human Values and Their Interactions with Pro-Tobacco Factors on Cigarette Smoking: The Role of Factors not Explicitly Related to a Risk Behavior

Xinguang Chen, Xiaolan Tang, Xiaoming Li, Bonita Stanton, Hanwu Li
2008 Californian Journal of Health Promotion   unpublished
More effective tobacco control requires new data on factors that are not explicitly related to smoking but are influential, such as "Terminal Values" regarding desirable end-states of existence and "Instrumental Values" regarding desirable modes of conduct. Association analysis was conducted among 36 Core Values (18 Terminal and 18 Instrumental) derived from Rokeach's Value Survey, three risk factors (pro-tobacco media, smoking peers and sensation-seeking), and cigarette smoking using data
more » ... ing using data collected from a sample of 334 medical students in China. The participants were 18 to 24 years old (47% female) and 18.4% of them smoked in the past 30 days. Multivariate analysis indicated that cigarette smoking was negatively associated with nine Terminal Values (e.g., a Sense of Accomplishment and Self-Respect) and ten Instrumental Values (e.g., Clean and Self-Controlled). As expected, when the endorsed number of values/total value scores increased from low to high, the 30-day smoking rate declined from 32.6%-75.0% to 13.5%-15.9% (p < .01). The odds ratios (OR) for the endorsed Terminal Values and the total value scores were 0.50 (p < .01) and 0.64 (p < .01) respectively, and the ORs for the endorsed Instrumental Values and the total value scores were 0.42 (p < .01) and 0.44 (p<.01), respectively. Furthermore, the two Value Systems significantly mitigated the effect of pro-tobacco media and peer influences on smoking. Core Values that promote individual development and societal harmony may protect people from smoking either directly or through their moderation effect on pro-smoking risk factors. Findings from this study suggest inclusion of value education as part of the standard tobacco control practice.