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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020 May;112:36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2020.01.013. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

"Isn't there a bunch of side effects?": A focus group study on the beliefs about cessation treatments of non-college educated young adult smokers.

Author information

1
Division of Intramural Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: danielle.duarte@nih.gov.
2
Division of Intramural Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: julia.chen-sankey@nih.gov.
3
Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, 135 Dauer Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Electronic address: kat4538@live.unc.edu.
4
Department of Biology, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St, Worcester, MA 01610, USA. Electronic address: lorozc19@g.holycross.edu.
5
Division of Intramural Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: bambi.jewett@nih.gov.
6
Division of Intramural Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: kelvin.choi@nih.gov.

Abstract

Smoking remains more prevalent among non-college educated and racial/ethnic minority young adults in the U.S. These smokers are less likely than their college educated/non-Hispanic white counterparts to use cessation treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Alternative cessation methods (e.g., e-cigarettes) have also grown in popularity among smokers. Therefore, we conducted a focus group study to explore perceptions and beliefs about various cessation treatments among, racially/ethnically diverse, non-college educated young adult smokers. Seventy-five 18-29-year-old current smokers without a 4-year college education were recruited from the U.S. Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and attended one of twelve focus groups to discuss their awareness, beliefs, experiences, and intention for future use of cessation treatments. Focus groups were stratified by race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic) and educational attainment (≤ high school vs. some college without obtaining a bachelor's degree). We used a thematic approach to analyze the discussions. We found that few participants were aware of cessation counseling or cessation related programs. Many participants reported previously using nicotine replacement therapies and e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Participants had little intention to use prescription medications due to perceived side effects. Participants' awareness, beliefs, and intentions of using other cessation treatments varied by race/ethnicity and educational attainment. In conclusion, our findings, if confirmed by subsequent quantitative studies, suggest that targeted media campaigns may be needed to explain the contents and benefits of behavioral cessation programs to non-college educated young adult smokers. Targeted media messages aim to overcome negative perceptions related to nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications among non-college educated young adult smokers, especially those from racial/ethnic minority populations, may promote successful smoking cessation in this population.

KEYWORDS:

Beliefs; Perceptions; Qualitative study; Smoking cessation methods; Young adult smokers

PMID:
32199544
PMCID:
PMC7100981
[Available on 2021-05-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsat.2020.01.013

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest All authors of this article declare they have no conflicts of interest.

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