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Emerging Product Perceptions and Use among African-Americans

Principal Investigator: Kari-Lyn Kobayakawa Sakuma

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID Number: 1R03CA180935-01A1

Award Date: 8/25/2014

Institution: Oregon State University 

African-American youth are at high risk of tobacco use. Of particular concern is a significant increase in their use of emerging products such as cigars and cigarillos and a high likelihood of multiple product use. The goal of this study is to evaluate their perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs regarding the health and social effects of tobacco products -- particularly emerging and unregulated flavored (e.g., menthol, fruit, candy) products -- and to determine whether these cognitive and affective factors are related to experimentation. Specific aims are: (1) to determine whether there are distinct classes of African-American tobacco users with shared patterns of tobacco use, and whether certain characteristics define high-risk groups; and (2) to evaluate the impact of marketing exposure, risk perceptions, attitudes toward tobacco products, and use of flavored products on use patterns. Researchers will recruit 560 African-American youth aged 14-18 who have ever tried a tobacco product. In the first phase of the study, researchers will conduct six focus groups (8-10 participants each) to gather information on awareness and perceptions of emerging tobacco products, advertisements, advertisement and product exposure, and sources of product information and perceptions. In the second phase, 500 youth will complete a 30-45 minute paper-and-pencil survey about tobacco-related behaviors (e.g., use, intentions, cessation), nicotine dependence, use and perceptions of tobacco products (including mentholated and flavored products), perceptions of health and social risks, and marketing exposure. Distinguishing patterns of tobacco use among African-American youth may inform strategies for prevention, cessation, and regulatory action that address tobacco consumption by this vulnerable population.

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