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Smokeless Tobacco Used by 5.6 Percent of Children

Second study shows prevalence of smoking higher for children of current, former smokers

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The overall prevalence of smokeless tobacco use is 5.6 percent among U.S. middle and high school students; and children of current and former smokers are much more likely to smoke, according to two studies published online Aug. 5 in Pediatrics.

Israel T. Agaku, D.M.D., M.P.H., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey to estimate current use of conventional, novel, and any smokeless tobacco products within the past 30 days among U.S. middle and high school students. The researchers found that the overall prevalence of smokeless tobacco product use was 5.6 percent. Sixty-four, 26.8, and 9.2 percent of smokeless tobacco users used only conventional products, novel plus conventional products, and only novel products, respectively. Peer and household smokeless tobacco use correlated with significantly increased odds of use (odds ratio, 9.56 and 3.32, respectively).

Mike Vuolo, Ph.D., from Purdue University in West Fayette, Ind., and Jeremy Staff, Ph.D., from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, constructed smoking trajectories using data from the multigenerational Youth Development Study. Data were analyzed for 214 parents and 314 offspring, aged 11 years and older, to assess how smoking trajectories impact smoking among offspring. The researchers identified four trajectories: stable nonsmokers, early-onset light smokers who quit; late-onset persistent smokers; early-onset persistent heavy smokers. Eight percent of children of stable nonsmokers smoked in the past year compared to 23 to 29 percent of children of the other groups.

"Even in an era of declining rates of teenage cigarette use in the United States, children of current and former smokers face an elevated risk of smoking," Vuolo and Staff write.

Abstract - Agaku
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Abstract - Vuolo and Staff
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