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J Adolesc Health. 2018 Jun;62(6):750-753. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.12.017. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Harm Perceptions of Intermittent Tobacco Product Use Among U.S. Youth, 2016.

Author information

1
Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: yxn7@cdc.gov.
2
Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
3
Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We aimed to describe U.S. youth harm perceptions of intermittent tobacco use.

METHODS:

Using data from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey of U.S. students (grades 6-12; Nā€‰=ā€‰20,675), we examined prevalence and correlates of all respondents' perceived harm of using four different tobacco products on "some days but not every day." Associations between current (past 30-day) use and harm perceptions were assessed using multivariable regression.

RESULTS:

Perceiving that intermittent use causes "no" or "little" harm was 9.7% for cigarettes, 12.0% for smokeless tobacco, 18.7% for hookah, and 37.5% for e-cigarettes. Compared with those who reported "a lot" of harm, youth with lower harm perceptions were more likely to report current use.

CONCLUSIONS:

One in ten youth perceived intermittent cigarette smoking as causing "little" or "no" harm; this perception was higher among current users. Efforts to educate youth about the risks of even intermittent tobacco product use could reduce misperceptions of harm.

KEYWORDS:

Harm perception; National Youth Tobacco Survey; Tobacco use; Youth

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