Young Adult Smoker Risk Perceptions of Traditional Cigarettes and Nontraditional Tobacco Products

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Objective: To explore risk perceptions of traditional and nontraditional tobacco products (NTPs) among young adult smokers. Methods: Focus groups with African Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics. Risk ratings of light, regular, and menthol cigarettes and of NTPs and marijuana and cigarettes were compared. Results: Participants tended to view light cigarettes as safer than regular cigarettes. Shisha and herbal products were rated as safer than traditional cigarettes, but there were differences in ratings by race/ ethnicity, related to preferred cigarette variety. Conclusions: Health communication messages about the use of cigarettes and NTPs should consider risk perceptions about the products and racial/ethnic differences.

Keywords: cigarettes; nontraditional tobacco products; racial/ethnic groups; risk perception; young adults

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta, GA

Publication date: May 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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