Research has demonstrated that Hip Hop peer crowd identification, which is common among multicultural youth, is associated with increased risk of tobacco use. To address this, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products created Fresh Empire, the first national tobacco education campaign tailored for Hip Hop youth aged 12-17 who are multicultural (Hispanic, African American, Asian-Pacific Islander, or Multiracial). A recently published studyexamined peer crowd (Hip Hop, Mainstream, Popular, Alternative, Country) and cigarette smoking status among a nationally recruited sample of youth, aged 13-17. The study found that Alternative youth were most at risk of cigarette smoking, followed by Hip Hop. Specifically, Hip Hop youth were significantly more likely to be experimenters than Popular and Mainstream youth.
The researchers concluded that the current study underscores the potential utility of interventions tailored to larger at-risk crowds for campaigns like Fresh Empire.
There are organizations and individuals who are stepping up to change this statistic. On March 15th, 2018, Godfrey Ramos from The LOOP was invited to give a presentation at the 19th Annual Leaders in Life youth conference in Bakersfield. His workshop focused on how to use Hip Hop Culture as a tool to promote student led tobacco-free projects and dialogue. As a culture, Hip Hop consists of five core elements: Emceeing/Rappin, DJing, Graffiti Art, Breakdancing, and Knowledge. The workshop utilized these five elements to highlight strategies on how to get the word out to peers, and the community, about advocacy efforts that make sure youth voices are heard and a powerful story is told that shapes and influences decision-making. The workshop was attended by approximately 200 students, parents, educators, and community leaders.
To learn more about the Leaders in Life Youth conference, please visit: http://leadersinlife.org/
Walker et al. (2018). The Hip Hop peer crowd: An opportunity for intervention to reduce tobacco use among at-risk youth. Addictive Behaviors, Feb 10;82:28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.02.014. [Epub ahead of print]
Read the abstract at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29477904