Differences in rates of tobacco product use among U.S. Hispanic youth
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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Health, Behavior & Society, United States of America
Battelle, Public Health Research & Translational Science, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A543
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Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, and projected to grow by 86% by 2050. Hispanics are also a diverse ethnic group, consisting of individuals with heritage from many areas, including Mexico, South America, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Little is known about variations in tobacco use and susceptibility among such Hispanic sub-groups.

We analyzed Wave 2 youth data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study. PATH is a nationally representative survey of 12,172 youth aged 12-17 and adults, living in the United States. This dataset provides information on whether a participant is Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, or of another Hispanic heritage. We examined differences in susceptibility to use and ever use of four tobacco products (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigarillos and hookah) among Hispanic youth. We also examined correlates of susceptibility and use.

Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican and other Hispanic youth were more likely than non-Hispanic youth to be susceptible to hookah use (ORs=1.7, 2.5, 1.5 and 1.6, respectively), while Mexican American and other Hispanic youth were more likely than non-Hispanic youth to be susceptible to e-cigarette use (ORs=1.3 and 1.2, respectively) and cigarillo use (ORs=1.4 and 1.4, respectively). Mexican, Cuban, and other Hispanic youth were more likely to have tried smoking hookah (ORs=1.5, 4.1 and 1.65, respectively). Parental education, friends' tobacco use, and beliefs that tobacco would calm them down were consistent predictors of tobacco use. Specific differences in correlates of susceptibility and use of each product, and by Hispanic sub-group, will be discussed.

It is critical to take into account the diversity among the U.S. Hispanic population when examining rates of tobacco use. Failing to do so can mask disparities in tobacco use among specific sub-groups. Tobacco prevention campaigns and policies should similarly consider the diversity of this population.

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