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New Study Smokes Out Susceptibility Trends in Youth Nonsmokers by Race and Ethnicity :

October 31, 2016

We have been publishing a number of articles on teen smoking of tobacco products and e-cigarettes recently—but have not stopped to think about whether the trends differentially impact particular groups of youth by race and ethnicity.

We have been publishing a number of articles on teen smoking of tobacco products and e-cigarettes recently—but have not stopped to think about whether the trends deferentially impact particular groups of youth by race and ethnicity. El-Toukhy et al. (10.1542/peds.2016-1254) did stop to think about this and share their findings in a provocative study being released this week in our journal. 

The authors looked at more than 140,000 non-smokers surveyed in the National Youth Tobacco Survey controlling for demographics, other smokers in the home, and exposure to tobacco advertising.  Once these potential confounders were controlled for, the authors found that certain racial and ethnic non-smokers were more susceptible to starting to smoke over time than others, with susceptibility highest between the ages of 11 and 13.The authors looked at each racial or ethnic subgroup in terms of trends in their smoking over time  between 1999 and 2014.  The results are quite interesting in that Hispanics were more susceptible to starting to smoke than non-Hispanic whites who were more susceptible than non-Hispanic blacks over the same period of time but these trends began to change after 2009. 

A description of the results in this blog does not do justice to the breadth and depth of interesting trends shared in this study—trends that may make you want to do more to prevent smoking susceptibility at different ages for your patients of different races and ethnicities as detailed in the results and discussion provided by the authors.  If this study does not light up your desire to push harder to provide your patients at key ages with strategies to not start smoking, we are not sure what will given how susceptible some of these young populations can be.  Read this study to better understand trends in smoking susceptibility in teens and pre-teens with no ifs, ands, certainly no butts.

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