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Health Educ Res. 2010 Feb;25(1):83-96. doi: 10.1093/her/cyp066. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

'Smoking': use of cigarettes, cigars and blunts among Southeast Asian American youth and young adults.

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  • 1Prevention Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research.valuation, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.


Increased use of cigars has been noted among youth, as well as use of blunts (hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana). Three types of relationships have been previously hypothesized between use of tobacco and marijuana in substance use progression. We aimed to assess these relationships for Southeast Asian American youth and adults in an urban population. We conducted in-person interviews with 164 Southeast Asians, smokers and non-smokers, in two low-income urban communities in Northern California, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. Analysis of the quantitative data indicated distinct use patterns for blunts, cigars and other forms of marijuana in terms of associations with generation in the United States. The use of these items was also found to be related: ever having smoked cigarettes or blunts increased the risk of ever having smoked the other three items. Qualitative data found indications of all three hypothesized relationships between tobacco and marijuana for youths but not for older adults. For youths in the study, 'smoking' was found to constitute a social construct within which use of cigarettes, cigars and blunts were somewhat interchangeable. Youths in similar settings may initiate into and progress through smoking as an activity domain rather than any one of these items.

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