Predictors of continued smoking over 25 years of follow-up in the normative aging study

Am J Public Health. 2000 Mar;90(3):404-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.3.404.


Objectives: This study tested the hypothesis that high daily cigarette consumption and addiction to smoking are risk factors for the long-term continuation of smoking.

Methods: Using longitudinal data from 986 male smokers, we entered cigarettes per day, psychological addiction, age, and education into a survival analysis as predictors of continued smoking over a 25-year period.

Results: Younger men and those who smoked more cigarettes per day were more likely to remain smokers in the long term. Addiction and education level were not significant predictors of continued smoking.

Conclusions: Heavier smokers are more at risk than lighter smokers for long-term smoking. It is therefore very important to provide smoking cessation treatments for heavy smokers as early as possible after the initiation of smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology