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Women and smoking: from adolescence to young adulthood

Institution: RAND Corporation
Investigator(s): Phyllis Ellickson, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2004 (Cycle 13) Grant #: 13RT-0019 Award: $737,742
Subject Area: Epidemiology
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
When and why do girls of different racial/ethnic groups start smoking, become regular smokers, and stop smoking? Do different patterns of smoking throughout adolescence and young adulthood pose unique threats to the health and well-being of women as they approach their 30s? Researchers at RAND’s Health Program will try to answer these questions by analyzing the smoking habits of an ethnically diverse group of West Coast youth.

The study will be based on information gathered from 1985 to 2001 about a group of participants whose history of tobacco use was traced from early adolescence (age 13) to young adulthood (age 29). The participants were originally enrolled in 19 middle- and junior high schools in five school districts from Northern and Southern California.

RAND’s analysis of the information collected about these participants will provide important information on how transitions in tobacco use (initiation, escalation, quitting) by Californians differ by age (early adolescence, late adolescence, young adulthood), gender, and race/ethnicity. We will be able to examine similarities and differences in the smoking behavior of four racial/ethnic groups: African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and non-Hispanic white. This work will also provide information on why girls start to smoke, as well as the factors that help to protect high-risk girls from becoming regular smokers. Finally, it will compare women with different histories of smoking to explore the long-term consequences of these patterns of use in young adulthood.

The findings of the study will help improve programs aimed at reducing tobacco use by the state’s girls in adolescence and women in young adulthood—and will shed light on how to make such programs more sensitive to differences across racial/ethnic groups.

Cigarette smoking from adolescence to yound adulthood: Woman's developmental trajectories and associated outcomes
Periodical: Women's Health Issues Index Medicus:
Authors: Tucker JS, Ellickson PL ART
Yr: 2006 Vol: Nbr: 16 Abs: Pg: 30-37