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J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2018 Jul 31:1-15. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2018.1484309. [Epub ahead of print]

Attitudes toward tobacco among low-income Hispanic adolescents: Implications for prevention.

Author information

1
a University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston , El Paso , Texas.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although US cigarette smoking rates have steadily declined, the changing nature of nicotine consumption and the popularity of non-combustible nicotine products urges us to revise tobacco prevention strategies. Research on smoking perspectives among Hispanic youth is limited yet crucial for prevention efforts with Hispanics being the largest minority in the U.S.

OBJECTIVE:

This study sought to understand the experience and perceptions of low-income Hispanic youth regarding tobacco use.

METHODS:

Forty-nine adolescents (ages 9 to 19) from El Paso, Texas, participated in five extended focus group discussions about tobacco/nicotine use.

RESULTS:

Adolescents were predominantly exposed to tobacco through relatives, although school and party contexts became more relevant as youth aged. Youth had negative perceptions of tobacco and smokers, but believed their peers often viewed tobacco positively. Youth also saw tobacco use as a functional stress-management strategy, especially within their extended family. Health and family were strong motivators not to smoke.

CONCLUSIONS:

Youth maintain several tensions in their views on tobacco. Tobacco use is considered unpleasant and harmful, yet youth perceive their peers to view it as cool. Peer to peer discussion of tobacco experiences and perceptions may help correct these incongruent viewpoints. Adding to this tension is the perception that tobacco is used to manage stress. Given the importance of the home environment for Hispanic youth, tobacco prevention efforts may benefit from engaging family to identify the ways in which tobacco use causes stress.

KEYWORDS:

Tobacco; US-Mexico border; perceptions; prevention; qualitative research

PMID:
30064307
PMCID:
PMC6355387
[Available on 2020-01-31]
DOI:
10.1080/15332640.2018.1484309

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