Cultural Factors Affecting Smoking intentions in Sri Lankan Immigrant Adolescents: An Exploratory Study
Journal of Research for Consumers
Place of Publication
Business and Law
Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
This paper reports a small exploratory investigation into smoking intentions amongst Sri Lankan immigrant adolescents living in Perth, Western Australia. Four focus group discussions were conducted to explore how cultural values are expressed in this group's beliefs and attitudes towards smoking and non-smoking and how these values may influence their smoking-related behaviour. Females and males attached similar negative values to smoking per se. However, generally, males saw peers' smoking as a way to be cool and popular while females saw peers' smoking as a way to solve stress and other personal problems. Males had strong positive associations with their favourite actors in available pre- 2005 Indian films who smoke on screen and play tricks with cigarettes. They reported playing out these tricks using pencils, or cigarettes when available, to impress peers. Females expressed strong negative attributes towards peers who smoked but males said they were happy to associate with mainstream Australian, English-speaking peers who smoked. For some males, the combined effect of being exposed to movie smoking and wanting to be friends with mainstream Australian peers could put them at greater risk of succumbing to peer pressure to smoke.