207421 Smoke What?: The Nicotine Dependence Experiences of Urban, African American Youth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Craig S. Fryer, DrPH, MPH , Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
James Butler, DrPH, MEd , Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Background: Nicotine dependence is a formidable impediment to quitting smoking. For urban, minority youth, this is particularly significant as there is a paucity of effective smoking cessation interventions specifically targeting them. The importance of understanding nicotine dependence during adolescence is based on several factors: young people desire to quit smoking; low rates of cessation among youth; the occurrence of nicotine withdrawal before the onset of daily smoking; and evidence of the link between tobacco use and major chronic tobacco-related illnesses. Despite the recognition of the central role of nicotine dependence in smoking cessation, there is a dearth of information about how nicotine dependence is expressed by young smokers. Methods: This study employed focus groups to assess the nicotine dependence experiences and symptoms among 30 African American current or former smokers, ages 13-21 years. Specifically, the study examined how language was used to define nicotine dependence; and how youth contextualize factors associated with dependence including, cigarette use, stress, tobacco advertising, and peer social dynamics. Results: Preliminary data show that participants associated nicotine dependence with the amount of cigarettes smoked per day, the intensity of cravings, and the relationship between their tobacco and marijuana use. Additionally, their smoking experiences were impacted by the unique challenges they faced within their community, including a disproportionate amount of targeted tobacco advertising, easy access to tobacco products, and unmet cessation needs. Conclusions: These findings can inform researchers and practitioners of critical factors to address in the design of effective smoking cessation interventions targeting urban, minority youth.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: (1)Describe how urban youth define nicotine dependence; (2)Discuss the influence of urban environmental factors on adolescent smoking.

Keywords: Tobacco, Adoption

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in the field of adolescent tobacco cessation for the last seven years. Currently, I serve as Principal Investigator on a study assessing the nicotine dependence experiences of youth and as Co-investigator on a R21 study examining adolescent responses to anti-smoking public service announcements. I am a member of the faculty in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and all of my work falls under the rubric of tobacco-related health disparities.
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.