Patterns of blunt use among rural young adult African-American men

Am J Prev Med. 2012 Jan;42(1):61-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.08.023.


Background: Blunts are hollowed-out cigars or leaf tobacco filled with marijuana. Use of blunts has increased since the 1990s and, in 2005, 3.5% of all American youth were estimated to have used blunts in the past month. Blunt smokers may have greater odds of cannabis and tobacco dependency and are at risk of smoking-related diseases. Previous studies have suggested that blunt use is more common among blacks, older teens, and men. However, data pertaining to blunt use in non-adolescent African-American populations are scarce.

Purpose: To assess patterns of blunt use among young adult African-American men aged 19-30 years residing in five rural Black Belt counties in Alabama and to compare these data with those from tobacco cigarette smokers within the same study population.

Methods: Verbal, face-to-face interviewer-administered survey of 415 participants collected and analyzed between December 2008 and February 2011.

Results: 159 respondents (38.3%) smoked cigarettes and 45 smoked blunts (10.8%). Of blunt smokers, 33 also smoked cigarettes (73.3%). Use of blunts was prevalent among unemployed, single men, and occupational blunt use was uncommon. Factors important in the initiation, maintenance, and cessation of product use were similar for blunt and cigarette smokers, especially product use and acceptance by friends. Legal concerns were an important factor facilitating blunt cessation.

Conclusions: Blunt use is relatively common among male African Americans aged 19-30 years and is frequently associated with concomitant cigarette use. Tobacco control efforts in this male African-American population should also address blunt usage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alabama / epidemiology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Marijuana Smoking / ethnology
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Population
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult