Adolescents' reasons for smoking

J Sch Health. 1992 May;62(5):185-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1992.tb06039.x.


Part of the Hutchinson Smoking Prevention Project, this study provides information on reasons reported by adolescents for their smoking behavior. A total of 1,615 10th grade students in 20 rural and suburban school districts in Washington state were asked why they currently smoke and why they first smoked. For beginning smoking, curiosity, social norms, and social pressure were the most frequently given reasons for smoking. For current smoking, pleasure and addiction were mentioned most often. A number of gender differences occurred with 10th grade students beginning and current smoking. More females than males reported social norms and social pressure as reasons for beginning to smoke, whereas for currently smoking, pleasure was given as a reason more frequently by females than males. When developing interventions, smoking prevention programs need to consider students' current and past smoking behavior, and the reasons they give for smoking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Washington / epidemiology