Early predictors of daily smoking in young women: the national heart, lung, and blood institute growth and health study

Prev Med. 2002 Jun;34(6):616-24. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2002.1026.


Background: Smoking is highly prevalent in young women and little is known about early multilevel independent risk or protective factors that are predictive of daily smoking in young women.

Methods: Multiple logistic regression was conducted on data from NGHS, a 10-year cohort study of Black (1,213) and White (1,166) girls recruited from three clinical centers in the United States, ages 9-10 years on entry to ages 18-19.

Results: Compared with never smokers, White girls were at higher risk than Black girls of being daily smokers at ages 18-19. Early predictors of daily smoking at ages 18-19 years included lower parental education, one parent in the household, drinking alcohol at ages 11-12, higher drive for thinness at ages 11-12, lower behavioral conduct at ages 11-12, and lower stress at ages 10-11 and higher stress at ages 12-13. For both Black and White girls weight-related variables were significant. Stress, behavioral conduct, and one-parent household were also important predictors for White girls.

Conclusions: There is evidence that childhood and adolescent factors are related to young adult smoking behavior. Body weight concerns as well as family, social environment, and behavioral factors are important issues in determining which girls will become daily smokers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Female
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Self Concept
  • Single-Parent Family
  • Smoking* / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States / ethnology
  • Whites