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What Does It Take to Be a Smoker? Adolescents' Characterization of Different Smoker Types.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21849408     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
INTRODUCTION: Studies have demonstrated that clinical- and research-based definitions of who a smoker is and what constitutes smoking often differ from adolescent-derived definitions, which can be problematic for effective intervention and prevention efforts. We investigated how adolescents define different smoker types (nonsmoker, smoker, regular smoker, addicted smoker, heavy smoker, experimental smoker, casual smoker, and social smoker) using multiple indicators of smoking behaviors, including frequency, amount, place, and length of time cigarette smoking, and whether differences exist by smoking experience. METHODS: Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyze data from a cohort of adolescents (N = 372) in northern California. RESULTS: We found differences in how adolescents characterized smoker types based on their own smoking experience. Ever-smokers tended to have a greater flexibility in determining what constituted nonsmoking and heavy smoking, while never-smokers had much narrower definitions. Results also indicated that adolescents may mistakenly associate nicotine addiction with a high frequency and amount of cigarette use as 74.3% characterized an addicted smoker as having smoked for a few years or more. In addition, there was a considerable amount of overlap in definitions between different smoker types, particularly among the smoker-regular smoker, addicted smoker-heavy smoker, and casual smoker-social smoker pairs. Conclusion: Health communication strategies for youth smoking prevention need to address the wide variability and overlap in how adolescents define different smoker types. Greater attention should be directed to understanding the nuances of how adolescents define smoking in order to maximize the effectiveness of youth-centered smoking prevention and cessation messages.
Authors:
Joann Lee; Bonnie L Halpern-Felsher
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-8-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-994X     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-8-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815751     Medline TA:  Nicotine Tob Res     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, 530 Parnassus Avenue, Suite 366, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. joann.lee@ucsf.edu.
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