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Black youths smoke more in public housing
Young people living in public housing were more likely to use tobacco and have positive attitudes about using tobacco than their peers, U.S. researchers say.
Mansoo Yu, an assistant professor of social work and public health at University of Missouri, found African-American youths who live in public housing communities were 2.3 times more likely to use tobacco than other African-American youth.
Each day, nearly 4,000 U.S. adolescents smoke their first cigarette, and about one-fourth will become daily smokers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found.
“As previous research suggests, early use of tobacco increases individuals’ chances of using more serious drugs later,” Yu said in a statement.
Yu and colleagues surveyed 518 urban African-American youth ages 11-20 in three large U.S. cities. The survey measured adolescents’ attitudes toward tobacco use, depressive symptoms and delinquent behaviors.
The study, published in Addictive Behaviors, found youth living in public housing might be more likely to be fearful, live around crime problems, have poorer social relationships and have higher levels of psychological strain. These factors could contribute to the increased rates of tobacco use, Yu said.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International