UT Professors Study Youth Tobacco Use

smoking teens

Tobacco consumption remains today the leading cause of a number of preventable diseases in the USA.  This fact made two professors at University of Texas at Austin College of Education study young people trends in tobacco use and the amount to which targeted marketing contributes to tobacco consumption.

Alexandra Loukas and Keryn Pasch, health education and health behavior professors want to understand better tobacco marketing and other factors that contribute to alternative tobacco use which include hookah, e-cigarettes, cigarillos among young people.  Their research is funded by a National Institutes of Health grant.

The professors say that though the consumption of regular cigarettes among young people has been decreased, the consumption of other tobacco products has been increased over the past years.  Targeted marketing may influence the increase in non-cigarette tobacco use.

The research of professors is part of the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young adults, that is a new center located in UT’s School of Public Health.

Major aim of the center is to create a program of research and training which concentrates on tobacco consumption among young people. The research includes surveillance of teenagers and young people in Texas and studying marketing efforts of  tobacco companies .

In 2012 UT became a tobacco-free campus. This initiative to become smoke-free was supported by a UT Student Government resolution and by a survey of the UT community in which participated 1,551 of UT students, faculty and staff. In addition, if UT did not change to a smoke-free campus the Cancer Research Institute of Texas would have freeze cancer researcher funds.

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