Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance Study

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TATAMS is the Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance Study.

The goal is to understand what types of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) devices, like e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products, like cigarettes, cigars, and hookah, youth and young adults are using and why they use those products.   Additionally, we study the effect of tobacco product marketing and other factors (e.g., product characteristics, intrapersonal and interpersonal influences) on youth tobacco use.

Results from TATAMS are used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inform regulations on the manufacturing, sales, and marketing of tobacco products. This regulation is designed, in turn, to prevent the onset and progression of tobacco use among young people.  Its findings also inform the development and implementation of interventions (e.g., school-based programs, media campaigns) to prevent the onset and progression in e-cigarette and other tobacco use behaviors among young people.

TATAMS is a 10 year research study that began in 2014. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

We collect the following data:

  • In 2014, we asked approximately 4,000 youth in grades 6th, 8th, and 10th  across major metropolitan areas in the state of Texas (Houston, Dallas-Ft Worth, San Antonio, Austin) to enroll in our study.
  • On enrollment, students participated in a web-based survey in school about their e-cigarette and other tobacco use, administered on tablets. Approximately every 6 months thereafter, a web-based survey has been administered outside of schools on students’ own tablet, computer, or smartphone.
  • Participants have the opportunity to complete up to 14 surveys, through 2021.  In 2021, these students will have all finished high school and will be 1, 3, and 5 years post-graduation.
  • In addition to these surveys, we also documented the tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements around the middle schools and high schools that our survey participants attended.

Study Design

The Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance Study (TATAMS) is a longitudinal surveillance study of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) devices and other tobacco use behaviors among youth and young adults living in major metropolitan areas of Texas (Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio).

Study Participants

Three population-based cohorts of adolescents in the 6th (n=1,122; N=148,465), 8th (n=1,322; N=160,080), and 10th grade (n=1,463; N=152,524) were recruited from Texas middle and high schools (n=79; N=1,364) in 2014-15, using complex probability sampling methods. TATAMS continues to follow these 3 cohorts as they transition from adolescence into young adulthood.  

Per data from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission, and the National Center for Education Statistics, the sampling frame accounted for 97% of 6th, 8th, and 10th grade students in these areas, and more than 40% of all 6th, 8th, and 10th grade students in all of Texas in 2014-15.  Given the application of sampling weights in data analysis, the study sample (n=3,907) is representative of 461,069 students in 1,969 schools in these areas. Among these, 48.9% are girls; 54.5% are Hispanic, 21.4% non-Hispanic White, and 17.6% non-Hispanic Black. In 2014, the average age of each cohort was 11, 13, and 14 years old.

Data Collection

An almost 500 item web-based tobacco survey is offered to study participants every 6 months, from 2014-2021 (Waves 1-14), for 7 years of follow-up.  Students and their parents or guardians provided consent to participant in the TATAMS research study. Most study participants have completed follow-up surveys with retention rates ranging from 64-85% across waves.

The TATAMS survey includes robust measures of ENDS use and other tobacco use behaviors; nicotine dependence; alcohol and marijuana use behaviors; and a broad spectrum of potential risk factors, including intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental influences (e.g., tobacco marketing), as well as product characteristics (e.g., flavors, brand, ENDS device type).

TATAMS has been and continues to be highly productive in disseminating findings on many topics related to ENDS and other tobacco use in peer-reviewed journals and through scientific presentations.

Adolescent Tobacco Uptake and Other Substance Use: A Latent Class Analysis

(Delk J, Carey FR, Case KR, et al. Am J Health Behav. 2019;43(1):3-14. doi:10.5993/AJHB.43.1.1)

Youth or young adults: Which group is at highest risk for tobacco use onset?

(Perry CL, Pérez A, Bluestein M, Garza N, Obinwa U, Jackson C, Clendennen SL, Loukas A, Harrell MB; J Adolesc Health ;2018)

E- cigarette specific symptoms of nicotine dependence among Texas adolescents

(Case, K, Mantey, D, Creamer, M, Harrell, MB, Kelder, S, & Perry, CL; Addictive Behaviors; 2018)

Recall of point-of-sale marketing predicts cigar and e-cigarette use among Texas youth

(Pasch KE, Nicksic NE, Opara SC, Jackson C, Harrell MB, Perry CL; Nicotine Tob Res.; 2017)

Implementation of a Computerized Tablet-Survey in an Adolescent Large-Scale, School-Based Study

(Delk J, Harrell MB, Fakhouri T, Muir K, Perry CL; J Sch Health; 2017)

Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance System's Design

(Pérez A, Harrell MB, Malkani RI, et al. Tob Regul Sci. 2017;3(2):151-167. doi:10.18001/TRS.3.2.3)

Flavored Tobacco Product Use among Youth and Young Adults: What if Flavors Didn’t Exist?

(Harrell MB, Loukas A, Jackson CD, Marti CN, Perry CL; Tob Regul Sci.; 2017)

Recall of e-cigarette advertisements and adolescent e-cigarette use

(Nicksic N, Harrell MB, Pérez A, Pasch K, Perry CL; Tob Regul Sci.; 2017)

Flavored e-cigarette use: Characterizing youth, young adult, and adult users

(Harrell MB, Weaver SR, Loukas A, Creamer M, Marti CN, Jackson CD, Heath JW, Nayak P, Perry CL, Pechacek TF, Eriksen MP; Preventative Medicine Reports; 2016)