186688 Tobacco use & intent predictability in early childhood

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sharon P. Brown, PhD(c), MPH, MN , Public Health and Epidemiology, University of California-Irvine, Wexford, PA
Many youth tobacco use prevention programs target adolescents as the population served. Younger children are essentially ignored for targeted interventions. As part of a study to determine if children as early as 8 years old could be properly screened for both their intention to use, as well as their actual tobacco use, a screening tool was developed that successfully identified current tobacco use intent, as well as actual tobacco use in children as young as 8-12 years of age. Through the use of multinomial logistic regression, models were developed to predict future tobacco use intent & actual use in this younger age group of children. Some of the predictor variables for the intention to use tobacco model were: Ethnicity [African-American, p = .002; Asian-American, p = .004]; perception of smoking risk [response of “No, not bad,” p = .000]; risk of smoking cigarettes [“Low risk” response, p = .009]; child's own tobacco use [any use, p = .000]; and perception of safety within the community [response of “No, never,” p = .000]. For the actual tobacco use model, the following predictors were found: Ethnicity [African-American, p = .002]; tobacco use intent, p = .000; risk of smoking cigarettes [“Low risk” response, p = .013]; and, perception of safety at school [response of “No, never,” p = .009]. Implications of study results for future development and improvement of early childhood prevention programs will be discussed, as well as indications for future research in the area of early childhood prevention.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, the participant will be able to 1) identify several predictors of a child's likelihood to use tobacco; 2) identify several predictors of a child's likelihood of tobacco use intention within the next six months; and 3) suggest two (2) ways that tobacco control programs might utilize these results to develop and/or enhance their tobacco use screening in early childhood.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in tobacco control for over fifteen years; and am the principal investigator in the research study being discussed.
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.