186095 Emerging phenomenon of Black & Mild brand cigars among young adult urban African Americans

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:42 AM

Simona Kwon, DrPH, MPH , Institute of Community Health & Research, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Norman Yancey , Urban Youth Corps, Community Building in Partnership, Baltimore, MD
Frances Stillman, EdD , Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Lee Bone, MPH, RN , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Katherine Clegg Smith, PhD , Department of Health Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Emmanuel Price , Urban Youth Corps, Community Building in Partnership, Baltimore, MD
Ideas and attitudes about tobacco use are often shaped by socio-cultural values. Such beliefs likely influence decisions to take up smoking, preferred type of tobacco product, and brand choice. Despite the documented increased spending and targeted marketing efforts by tobacco companies to reach urban young adults, substantial gaps in information exist on the high risk, vulnerable population of under-employed, non-college attending urban young adults (18-24 years of age). Using a combination of qualitative focus groups and in-depth interviews (N=34), and quantitative surveying (N=184), a volunteer, convenience sample of non-college attending, urban 18-24 year olds enrolled in work-education training programs in Baltimore were interviewed to understand tobacco use. A CBPR approach was adopted, and the research was conducted as a co-learning process. Fifty-four percent of this community sample reported being a current smoker. Almost 24% of the total surveyed population reported smoking Black & Milds (BMs), with the majority reporting regular use. BMs are a brand of cigarillos or small cigars filled with pipe tobacco and widely available in corner stores in urban Baltimore. Some participants noted that regular cigarette smokers were relinquishing cigarettes to switch to BMs. Others reported initiating tobacco use with BMs. Main reasons for exclusively smoking BMs compared to cigarettes were economics: cheaper prices and longer lasting. Confusion and misinformation about the health effects of BMs was reported by the participants. Successful interventions to reduce tobacco use in this urban young adult population needs to address the emerging trend of cigar use and brand preference for BMs.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) will be able to: Recognize the importance of using a community-based participatory research to reach non-college attending urban young adults; Articulate the emerging trend and context of use of Black & Mild among this high-risk, vulnerable group. Discuss potential social and policy action activities for the development of successful long-term intervention strategies

Keywords: African American, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: conceived, developed, implemented, anaylzed, and shared findings with the study group.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.