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Research In Health Disparities

Environmental Influences of Tobacco Use in Urban Hispanic Young Adults

The Hispanic community in Baltimore City, the Baltimore City Health Department, HCHDS, and other important stakeholders worked together to examine the understanding of contextual factors (i.e., community/neighborhood and societal) that contribute to the high rates of tobacco use in the Hispanic community, with a focus on the population ages 18-24.

Principal Investigator: Frances Stillman, EdD

Co-Investigators: Lee Bone, MPH

This is a 2-year study to examine current understanding of the contextual factors (community/ neighborhood and societal) contributing to the high rates of tobacco use in the Hispanic community in Baltimore City, with a focus on the 18-24-year-old population. This is community-based participatory research being conducted in partnership with the Hispanic Community in Baltimore City, the Health Department, important stakeholders, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. The information gained by this descriptive study will be invaluable in the development of appropriate intervention strategies and policy recommendations to help eliminate tobacco use in 18-24 year old urban, inner-city Hispanic adults. We will use the knowledge gained from this research to foster future academic community partnerships. We will be able to compare the findings with those of a similar age group in the African-American community in Baltimore city. The overall goal of this research is to reduce/eliminate the ethnic/racial health disparities experienced among Hispanic men and women. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic men and the second leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. Lung cancer death is three times higher for Hispanic men than for women.

Research Aims

  1. Gain an understanding of the contextual (neighborhood/community and societal) factors that are associated with increased tobacco use among young adults (both initiation of tobacco use and continuation of smoking) in Hispanic communities in Baltimore City.
    1. Investigate how access to cigarettes influences smoking habits of this population, especially access to single cigarettes (loosies)
    2. Investigate tobacco industry marketing and promotional strategies in the Hispanic community
  2. Determine how the contextual (neighborhood/community and societal) factors differentially influence the tobacco use behavior of men and women
  3. Develop recommendations for possible community-level intervention strategies and policy recommendations. This will be based on the outcomes from Aims 1 & 2 and with input from the community partnership.

Methods

We plan to utilize qualitative methods (focus groups and observational data collection) as well as quantitative methods (survey). The information gained will be invaluable in the collaborative development of appropriate intervention strategies and policy recommendations to help eliminate tobacco use in 18-24-year-old inner-city Hispanic adults. Further, this research will enhance the continuing and future academic community partnerships.