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The Effect of Computer Usage in Internet Café on Cigarette Smoking and Alcohol Use among Chinese Adolescents and Youth: A Longitudinal Study

Author(s): Liyun Wu | Jorge Delva

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 496;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: computer | internet café | smoking | drinking | adolescents and youth | China

We used longitudinal data to investigate the relationship between computer use in internet cafés and smoking/drinking behavior among Chinese adolescents and young adults. Data are from two waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (2004 and 2006). Fixed effects models were used to examine if changes in internet café use were associated with changes in cigarette smoking and drinking of alcohol. Male café users spent on average 17.3 hours in front of the computer/week. This was associated with an increase in the probability of being a current smoker by 13.3% and with smoking 1.7 more cigarettes. Female café users spent on average 11 hours on the computer/week. This was associated with an increase in the probability of drinking wine and/or liquor by 14.74% and was not associated with smoking. Internet cafés are an important venue by which adolescent and young adults in China are exposed to smoking and drinking. Multi-component interventions are needed ranging from policies regulating cigarette and alcohol availability in these venues to anti-tobacco campaigns aimed at the general population but also at individuals who frequent these establishments.
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