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The Prevalence of Unrecognized Tobacco Use Among Young Adults

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Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of smoking among young adults and to describe their characteristics.

Methods: Data were examined from the Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey, a telephone survey of 8821 residents with a sample of 1205 young adults.

Results: Prevalence was 39 using the adolescent definition and 32 using the adult definition. Nearly 1 in 5 young adult smokers may be considered a previously unrecognized smoker who would not have been identified as a cigarette user according to the standard adult definition.

Conclusions: Future studies assessing prevalence should use both adolescent and adult measures.

Keywords: prevalence; smoking; survey methods; tobacco; young adults

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Center for Prevention, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • 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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