Learning Objectives: Identify the significant predictors of tobacco use in Arab American adolescents using the Arab American Tobacco Use Model.
Abstract: Tobacco use in Arab American adults is among the highest in the world (WHO, 1999); less is known about tobacco use in Arab American teens. A convenience sample of 1372 Arab American 14-18 year olds completed questionnaires in the initial phase of this trial. The sample was 54% male; average age was 15.7 years (SD=1.18); 61% percent were immigrants. Twenty-three percent had one or more friends who smoked, this increased with age (p=.0001). Self-reported cigarette smoking was related to age (p < .0001); from 1% at age 14 to 12% at age 18; 24.8% reported using the narghile.
RESULTS: Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to examine 24 predictors in a proposed Arab American Tobacco Use Model. Except for father smoking and father born in the USA, all predictors were significantly correlated to one or more outcome variables (‘Smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days’, ‘Ever smoked a cigarette’, and ‘Intention to use’). Largest correlations with were with ‘one or more close friends smoke’, ‘one or more tobacco offers by family or friends per week’, ‘depression’, and ‘low self-esteem’. Youth with one or more close friends who smoked were 3.72 times more likely to contemplate smoking in the future, 6.08 times more likely to have used tobacco in the past 30 days, and 3.2 times more likely to have experimented with cigarettes.
CONCLUSIONS: Peer and family tobacco use are powerful predictors of Arab American adolescent tobacco use and point the way for intervention.
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