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CMAJ. 2011 May 17;183(8):E480-6. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.101913. Epub 2011 May 9.

Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use among Aboriginal youth living off-reserve: results from the Youth Smoking Survey.

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  • 1Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, Canadian Cancer Society/University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the high prevalence of smoking among Aboriginal youth, there is a paucity of research related to tobacco use and other risk behaviours among Aboriginal youth living off-reserve in Canada. We used data from the national Youth Smoking Survey to characterize non-traditional tobacco use, exposure to second-hand smoke, and alcohol and drug use among Aboriginal youth living off-reserve. We examined whether these youth were at increased health risk compared with non-Aboriginal youth.

METHODS:

We examined cigarette smoking behaviour, use of other tobacco products, use of alcohol and other drugs, and exposure to second-hand smoke among 2620 Aboriginal youth living off-reserve and 26,223 non-Aboriginal youth in grades 9 to 12 who participated in the 2008/09 Youth Smoking Survey.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of current smoking among the Aboriginal youth was more than double that among non-Aboriginal youth (24.9% v. 10.4%). Aboriginal youth also had a higher prevalence of regular exposure to second-hand smoke at home (37.3% v. 19.7%) and in cars (51.0% v. 30.3%). Aboriginal youth were more likely than non-Aboriginal youth to be current smokers, to be regularly exposed to second-hand smoke, to have tried marijuana and other illicit drugs, and to engage in binge drinking. They were less likely than non-Aboriginal youth to have tried to quit smoking.

INTERPRETATION:

Current national estimates of smoking, and alcohol and illicit drug use among youth underestimate the prevalence of these behaviours among Aboriginal youth living off-reserve. Our findings highlight the need for culturally appropriate prevention and cessation policies and programs for this at-risk population.

PMID:
21555383
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3091934
Free PMC Article
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