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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Recruitment and Baseline Characteristics of American Indian Tribal College Students Participating...

Monday, June 20, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Won S. Choi, PhD, MPH, Niaman Nazir, MPH, MBBS, Christina M. Pacheco, JD, Melissa K. Filippi, PhD, MPH, Joseph Pacheco, MPH, Julia White Bull, MA, Christi Nance, BA, Babalola Faseru, MD, MPH, K. Allen Greiner, MD, MPH, and Christine Makosky Daley, PhD, MA, SM
Recruitment and Baseline Characteristics of American Indian Tribal College Students Participating in a Tribal College Tobacco and Behavioral Survey.
Nicotine Tob Res (2016) 18 (6):1488-1493.doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv226First published online: October 5, 2015
American Indians (AIs) have the highest cigarette smoking rates of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. Although the overall smoking prevalence in the United States for nonminority populations has decreased over the past several decades, the same pattern is not observed among AIs. The purpose of this observational study was to collect cigarette smoking and related information from American Indian tribal college students to inform tailored interventions. We conducted a repeated cross-sectional survey of American Indian tribal college students, Tribal College Tobacco and Behavior Survey (TCTABS), with a focus on recruiting all incoming freshman at three participating tribal colleges in the Midwest and Northern Plains regions. A total of 1256 students participated in the baseline surveys between April 2011 and October 2014.
The overall smoking prevalence of this sample was 34.7%, with differences by region (Northern Plains—44.0% and Midwest—28%). The majority, 87.5% of current smokers reported smoking 10 or less cigarettes per day, 41% reported smoking menthol cigarettes, 52% smoked Marlboro brand, and the mean age of their first cigarette was 14 years. The majority, 62% had made at least one quit attempt in the past year. The overwhelming majority of respondents, regardless of their smoking status, thought that the current smoking prevalence on campus was greater than 41% and approximately one-third believed that it was as high as 61%.  Very few studies of smoking have been conducted in this population and results from our study confirm the need for effective interventions. AIs have the highest cigarette smoking rates compared to other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Furthermore, limited studies have examined the epidemiology of cigarette smoking among tribal college students. This study addresses health disparities related to smoking among college students by examining the demographic, cultural, and environmental characteristics of smoking and quitting. Results from this study could lead to the development of a culturally-tailored smoking cessation and prevention program for American Indian tribal college students.

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