Cigarette smoking and drinking behavior of migrant adolescents and young adults in Hanoi, Vietnam

Liem T. Nguyen, Zarah Rahman, Mark R. Emerson, Minh H. Nguyen, Laurie Schwab Zabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: There has been a large migration from rural to urban areas in much of the developing world. In the past, this was less true in Vietnam, which remains largely agricultural; however, since the 1990s, economic reforms and loosening of government policies that had previously limited movement have led to a large increase in this rural to urban population movement. Risky health behaviors have been found among migrants in many other settings. The purpose of this research was to determine whether migrant adolescents and young adults in the city of Hanoi are more or less likely than local ones to engage in cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking health risk behaviors, to identify factors associated with these behaviors, and to suggest interventions to reduce these health risk behaviors among the study population. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 4,550 adolescents and young adults aged 1524 years was conducted in urban Hanoi in 2006. This study examines current use of cigarettes and alcohol by migration status using multivariate logistic regressions. Results: Cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol are male phenomena. The prevalence of cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking is high among adolescents and young adults in Hanoi and is more common among migrants who came from rural areas of other provinces than nonmigrants in the city. However, multivariate analysis revealed that migrants were neither more likely to smoke cigarettes nor drink alcohol than nonmigrants after controlling for other factors, such as age, full-time worker status, depression, and having close friends who smoke and/or drink. Conclusions: The results suggest that interventions aiming at smoking and/or drinking reduction should pay more attention to adolescents, especially males, changing health risk behaviors at school and at work, and peer influence than their migration status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S61-S67
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Cigarette smoking
  • City
  • Hanoi
  • Health risk behavior
  • Rural-to-urban migration
  • Vietnam
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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