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Health Services


Cheryl Anderson


Conditions related to tobacco use constitute the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. Approximately 443,000 U.S. adults die each year from smoking-related illnesses. During young adulthood, social and behavioral changes occur; experimentation with tobacco products such as cigarettes is common and may lead to a habit of smoking. A gap was identified in the literature on the perceived impact of family communication on young adults' decisions regarding smoking. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to address this gap by gathering information on the perspectives of young adults toward tobacco use. Fifteen young adults aged 18 to 26 from the northeastern region of New Jersey who were currently engaged in the use of tobacco products participated in open-ended interviews. Research questions were designed to investigate young adults' views and perceptions regarding cigarette use and to explore information regarding how smoking-related communication received from family members influenced young adults' decision to smoke. The theory of planned behavior and social learning theory provided the theoretical underpinnings and consistent themes by young adults from the study. Van Manen's data analysis strategy demonstrated thematic reports from young adults that behaviors, habits, attitudes, communications, including verbal and nonverbal cues and practices are learned from their parental figures in the home environment. Recommendations for future research include exploring young adults from other geographical locations regarding their perspectives toward tobacco use. This study may promote positive social change for the public and health practitioners by providing insight on family interactions regarding smoking behaviors for young adults..