Online Program

Familial Influences on Tobacco and Marijuana Use: Perspectives from Young People

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Elizabeth L. Seaman, MHS, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Craig S. Fryer, DrPH, MPH, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Background: Empirical research supports that a link exists between parental tobacco smoking behaviors and the risk for adolescent tobacco and marijuana use. Yet, few studies have included the viewpoints of young people to explore how this relationship differs for tobacco and marijuana. Methods: We conducted a convergent parallel mixed methods pilot study with a convenience sample of young people in the Pittsburgh area. Fifty-eight participants between the ages of 13-20 completed a survey about experiences with smoking and other health issues. Subsequently 24 young smokers were invited to participate in five focus groups to discuss their experiences with marijuana and tobacco. Results: The majority of the sample self-identified as African American/black (81%) and was male (56.9%). Half of survey participants reported being ever or current cigarette smokers while 62.1% of the sample reported being ever or current marijuana smokers. Almost half (44.8%) of current cigarette smokers reported cessation attempts at least once, with the majority reporting 1-3 attempts. Participants acknowledged the profound role family members smoking had on their smoking attitudes and behaviors.  The majority of the survey respondents (62.1%) live with a smoker. In the focus groups, participants described initiation of smoking and family knowledge of their smoking status. Participants also described the ways in which family members’ smoking influenced access to tobacco products, conceptions of nicotine addiction and health risks, and concern for younger siblings. Conclusion: Mixed methods research designs allow for the examination of multifaceted phenomena such as the dual use of tobacco and marijuana.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the ways in which marijuana and tobacco use are connected for young smokers Describe the differences in ways that family smoking behavior influences youth and young adult marijuana and tobacco use

Keyword(s): Tobacco Use, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm a second year doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health working with the senior author on the Tobacco Involvement Mixed Methods Study (TIMMS) as part of my graduate assistantship. I've been working in public health research for the past three years and tobacco-related health disparities for the past two. My interests include mixed-methods research, tobacco and marijuana use and 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.