Social Networks and Smoking of Vocational College Students.

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D. Pudthum
S. Pitayarangsarit
A. Meeyai


Amongst Thai youth (aged between 15 and 24 years) the smoking rate is increasing.
Research on social networks and smoking behavior indicates that smoking behaviors spread
from one person to another through relationships. This research aims to study the structure of
the social network and smoking behavior of first year vocational college students. Structural
questionnaires were used to interview 223 students about general information, smoking
behavior, relationships with close friends and friends’ smoking behavior. Each student was
asked to identify the name of their friends, with a maximum of 5 friends. The results showed
that male sex, higher age, studying in the mechanical division (evening course), welders
division, or universal music division, and having a low grade point average (GPA) were
associated with a significantly higher rate of smoking. All smokers in 5 of the divisions were
male. There was one female smoker in the electronics division and all smokers in the
accounting division were female. Considering the social network, students had more
connections within the same division than across divisions. The analysis also shows that the
smokers were more connected within the social network and closer to each other than nonsmokers. The study also found that female smokers had higher centrality than male smokers
and there was a higher connection between female smokers than male smokers. These
findings increase our understanding of social networks among vocational college students and
their tobacco use, which should help perform policy and practice.

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