Tobacco use more prevalent among African-American adolescents living in public housing communities

July 10, 2012

Today, nearly 4,000 adolescents in the United States will smoke their first cigarette, and about a fourth of those youth will become daily smokers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports. A recent study by a University of Missouri researcher found that African-American youths who live in public housing communities are 2.3 times more likely to use tobacco than other African-American youths.

"Compared to their same-aged peers, youth living in public housing were more likely to use tobacco and have about using tobacco," said Mansoo Yu, an assistant professor of social work and public health. "As previous research suggests, early use of tobacco increases individuals' chances of using more serious drugs later. In addition, early drug use is related to other serious problems, such as delinquent behaviors and family and social problems."

Yu and his colleagues surveyed 518 urban African-American youths ranging from ages 11 to 20 who resided in public housing communities in three large U.S. cities. The survey measured adolescents' attitudes toward tobacco use, depressive symptoms and delinquent behaviors.

Youths living in public housing might be more likely to be fearful, live around crime problems, have poorer and have higher levels of psychological strain. These factors could contribute to the increased rates of tobacco use, Yu said.

" programs for young African Americans living in public housing communities should focus on reversing their positive attitudes toward ," Yu said. "In addition, programs should help address the youths' depressive symptoms and keep them from getting involved in delinquent behaviors."

Additionally, Yu said tobacco prevention programs should target young children in public housing communities.

"Early interventions are critical for these individuals since the likelihood of being exposed to dramatically increases as the children age," Yu said. "In public housing communities, adolescents may have easier access to drugs and social activities where drugs are used."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.