Do deaf and hard of hearing youth need antitobacco education?

Little research has focused on tobacco use among deaf and hard of hearing youth. Findings are reported from a first-ever tobacco-related survey, completed by 226 California middle and high school students using either a written questionnaire or the Interactive Video Questionnaire, an interactive multimedia computer video technology. Rates for current smoking (3.1%), ever smoking (45.1%), and multiple types of tobacco use (10.6%) were found to be lower than among high school students generally; mainstreamed students were likelier to have ever tried smoking than their deaf school peers (57.8% vs. 31.8%). No statistically significant associations were found between ever smoking and race/ethnicity, gender, school performance, or prelingual vs. postlingual deafening; a quarter of the sample experienced occasional peer pressure to use tobacco products. Tobacco use covariates, exposure to cigarette marketing and antismoking programming, and tobacco education needs of deaf and hard of hearing youth are discussed.