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Fam Community Health. 2004 Apr-Jun;27(2):170-81.

Tobacco cessation in adolescent females in Appalachian communities.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Ohio University, E354 Grover Center, Athens, OH 45701, USA.


Adolescents who live in tobacco-growing areas use tobacco at earlier ages and more frequently than other youth. These adolescents, like all tobacco users, have many health risks. To be successful, cessation efforts targeting these youth must reflect the cultural, social, and economic import of tobacco in their communities. Six focus groups with girls aged 12 to 14 who lived in tobacco-growing communities in Appalachian Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia and 20 interviews with key informants were conducted. Barriers identified by informants included community norms around tobacco use, family use of tobacco, school practices and policies, peer influences, youth attitudes, and logistical difficulties with cessation program efforts. Key findings indicated: (1) the social community in tobacco-growing communities is a significant influence in tobacco use; (2) family is important among young people in tobacco-growing communities and influences cessation positively and negatively; (3) parental smoking was an influence to smoke (4) some parents condone and even facilitate tobacco use by their children, but others actively discourage use; and (5) concern for the health of younger brothers and sisters elicits a strongly protective reaction from youth in discussions of health risks related to secondhand smoke. Youth in tobacco-growing regions have many similarities to others, but they also have unique cultural characteristics pertinent in the development and delivery of tobacco cessation programs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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