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Tob Regul Sci. 2019 Jan;5(1):65-75. doi: 10.18001/TRS.5.1.6.

Knowledge of Alternative Tobacco Products in Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.

Author information

1
RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA.
2
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.

Abstract

Objectives:

This study examined perceptions of factors that influence use and non-use of Alternative Tobacco Products (ATPs) among unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.

Methods:

Focus groups were conducted with 30 homeless 18-24 year olds (80% men, 50% Hispanic, 30% Black, 17% White, 20% multi-racial/other) recruited from drop-in centers in Los Angeles. Discussion focused on several ATPs (hookah, electronic cigarettes/vaping devices, cigarillos/little cigars, smokeless tobacco, snus, natural cigarettes, clove cigarettes), soliciting participants' experiences using each ATP and motivations for using or not using each ATP.

Results:

Focus group transcripts were subjected to a rigorous coding procedure and 8 themes relating to the reasons that participants may or may not use ATPs emerged. Each ATP was associated with distinctive characteristics that motivated use and non-use. For example, hookah use was viewed positively with positive sensory and social features dominating the discussion, whereas electronic cigarettes were viewed largely negatively (i.e., that they were expensive and harmful to health). Homelessness characterized participants' responses to the extent that cost was a factor in their choice of ATP.

Conclusions:

These data provide important, first look insights into factors that may influence the use and non-use of ATPs among unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.

KEYWORDS:

homeless; low income; polytobacco; vulnerable population; youth

PMID:
31289730
PMCID:
PMC6615893
[Available on 2020-01-01]
DOI:
10.18001/TRS.5.1.6

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Statement None of the authors has any disclosures or conflicts of interest to report.

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