Adverse Childhood Experiences and Youth Cigarette Use in 2013 and 2016: Emerging Disparities in the Context of Declining Smoking Rates

Michael J. Parks, Laurel Davis, John H. Kingsbury, Rebecca J. Shlafer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    INTRODUCTION: Cigarette use has dropped dramatically among youth since 2013, but smoking-related disparities persist. We examine who still smokes in the context of declining smoking rates. Using the Minnesota Student Survey, we examine adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and cigarette use in 2013 and 2016. We assess how cigarette use rates changed, how ACEs relate to cigarette use, and the degree to which youth with ACEs comprise the current smoking population. METHODS: Data came from the 2013 and 2016 Minnesota Student Survey. We assessed past 30-day any and daily cigarette use statewide and among youth with no ACEs, high cumulative ACEs, and seven separate ACEs. We used descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Cigarette use significantly declined for all groups from 2013 to 2016. Youth with no ACEs exhibited the highest percent decrease in any and daily cigarette use. Youth with ACEs were more likely to report any and daily cigarette use in 2013 and 2016, adjusting for demographics. Among youth with any 30-day use, the rate of ACEs increased from 2013 to 2016. Youth with ACEs disproportionately accounted for youth smoking populations in 2013 and 2016. For example, although 16% of all youth experienced parental incarceration, approximately 43% and 55% of youth with any and daily cigarette use experienced parental incarceration in 2016, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette use declined from 2013 to 2016 for all Minnesota youth, but the decline among youth with no ACEs was faster than those with ACEs. Youth with ACEs now account for an increasingly high percent of youth smokers. IMPLICATIONS: Even though cigarette use is declining among Minnesota youth, the decline among youth without ACEs is faster than the decline among youth with ACEs. Youth with ACEs disproportionately account for all youth smokers, and this disproportionality has increased since 2013. Tobacco control efforts should focus on youth with ACEs, and parental incarceration is a specific ACE that warrants attention. Rates of parental incarceration remain high in the United States and youth who experience parental incarceration now account for a near majority of current youth smokers. Future research should consider mechanisms for the ACE-smoking relationship and emerging tobacco products (eg, electronic cigarettes).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)124-129
    Number of pages6
    JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 27 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under National Research Service Award (NRSA) in Primary Medical Care (grant no. T32HP22239; PI: Borowsky). The support was also provided by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number, DP006005, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsement be inferred by HRSA, HHS, CDC, or the US Government.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 The Author(s) 2018.

    PubMed: MeSH publication types

    • Journal Article


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