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J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2007;6(3-4):113-42. doi: 10.1300/J233v06n03_05.

Tobacco use and dependence in Asian American and Pacific Islander adolescents: a review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Mass. Medical School, 55 Lake North Avenue, Rm S7-412, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.



This article identifies gaps in extant tobacco literature and areas for further research on Asian American adolescents.


Research articles published until December 2005 were retrieved from computer-database and manual searches.


A total of 62 data based research articles were identified and most (N= 38, 61.3%) had been published within the past 5 years. Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese American adolescents were studied most frequently. In general, Asian-American adolescents initiated smoking later and had a lower prevalence rate than non-Asian American adolescents. However, the estimates of current smoking for Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Filipino American adolescents in Hawaii were higher than those for adolescents in any other racial and ethnic groups. Most risk factors for smoking initiation were found to be similar to other ethnic minority groups, including the positive association of smoking with acculturation. For this age group the three treatment studies evaluated culturally focused interventions, but did not find improved outcomes.


Further research is needed to identify factors associated with the growing use of cigarettes and other tobacco products in late adolescence and young adulthood within the population, including treatment outcome studies. Research recommendations are suggested.

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