The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4088.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #37643

Do illicit drug users have a basic knowledge of nicotine's health effects?

Jennifer A. Klahn, MA, Grace L Reynolds, DPA(c), Dennis G. Fisher, PhD, Michele M. Wood, MS, and Jefferson L. Wood, BA. Center for Behavioral Research & Services, California State University, Long Beach, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813, 562-495-2330,

Objective: To identify predictors of amount of basic knowledge about the health effects of nicotine in a group of illicit drug users. Introduction: The Thompson Smoking and Tobacco Knowledge Test (TSTKT) was used to collect personal and psychological information, and to measure tobacco knowledge. Out-dated questions were revised. Methods: 187 (70% male; 59% Black, 26% White, 11% Hispanic, 4% Other) out-of-treatment drug users completed the TSTKT. Client mean age was 43.99 years (SD=8.98, Range=18-70). 82% of clients were current tobacco smokers; 76% had used crack in the last 30 days, 32% had injected illicit drugs in the last 30 days, and 50% had ever injected illicit drugs. Results: The mean number of correct answers on the knowledge portion of the TSTKT was 7.8 (SD=2.03, Min=3, Max=14) out of 24. Only 5% of clients scored 12 (50%) or higher. Linear regression identified 5 factors that predicted score on the TSTKT: Gender, paternal history of smoking, education, marijuana use (last 30 days), and opiate use (lifetime); R2=.1219, Adjusted R2=.0950. Conclusions: Illicit drug users who, more often than not, tend to be tobacco smokers, do not possess basic knowledge about the health effects of nicotine use. Individuals with greater relative knowledge tend to be those who are male, have a paternal history of smoking tobacco, have more education, currently smoke marijuana, and have ever used opiates. Programs that target illicit drug users should include basic information about the effects of nicotine.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Special Populations and Substance Abuse Poster Session I

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA