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Prev Med. 2003 Nov;37(5):492-8.

Arab-American adolescent tobacco use: four pilot studies.

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Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.



Four pilot studies were conducted to determine the (1) current tobacco use patterns and predictors among 14- to 18-year-old Arab-American youths; (2) psychometric properties of study measures (English and Arabic); (3) cultural appropriateness of Project Toward No Tobacco (TNT) for intervention; (4) accessible population for a longitudinal study.


Three studies were descriptive and one used a pretest-posttest design. From four Pilot Focus groups (N = 28 smokers) key tobacco use themes emerged along with information on study measures and the Project TNT intervention; Pilot Intervention tested the tailored Project TNT intervention with 9 Arab-American teens; Pilot Clinic (N = 44) determined the characteristics of the accessible teen health clinic population; and Pilot School (N = 119) obtained tobacco use data only.


From Pilot Focus seven themes (being cool, "nshar ma'a al shabab" [hanging out with the guys], present [time] orientation, smoking feels and tastes good, keeps your mind off trouble, easy to get, and (many) "barriers to quitting") emerged from the data. In the Pilot Intervention a 37.5% cessation rate was found. In the Pilot Clinic study, 24% males and 17% females smoked. The current smoking rate in the Pilot School (N = 119) sample was 17%; 34% admitted to having ever smoked (even a puff). Significant predictors for current tobacco use included poor grades, stress, having many family members and peers who smoke, being exposed to many hours of smoking each day, receiving offers of tobacco products, advertising and mail, and believing that tobacco can help one to make friends.


The four pilots contributed unique and essential knowledge for designing a longitudinal clinical trial on tobacco use by Arab-American adolescents.

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