The objective is to determine association of age, gender, BMI, body image (body satisfaction, body appearance), depression, unhealthy weight control behaviors with smoking among Serbian adolescents and specifically association of these variables with smoking for weight control among adolescent smokers.
This is a secondary analysis of data collected from 2763 students aged 13–15 years old (49.9% boys; 50.1% girls) obtained through cross-sectional Health Behavior in School-aged Children Survey conducted in Serbia in 2018 and analyzed using multivariable logistic regression.
In Serbia, 12.9% adolescents 13–15 years old smoke and 6.6% smoke for weight control, while this practice was present among 48.8% of the smokers. Higher odds of smoking were found among adolescents who perceive themselves thin and good looking, while these two factors didn’t play role for the smoking for weight control among smokers. Depression and unhealthy weight control behavior other than smoking significantly predicted smoking and smoking for weight control. Gender was not associated with smoking in adolescents, but among adolescent smokers, boys had two times higher chance compared to girls to report smoking for weight control.
Findings call for incorporating and strengthening interventions for adolescents’ weight control management and mental health as part of smoking prevention and cessation programs.