Defining cigarette smoking status in young adults: a comparison of adolescent vs adult measures

Am J Health Behav. 2004 Jul-Aug;28(4):374-80. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.28.4.9.


Objective: To determine the agreement between 2 measures (adult vs adolescent) of current cigarette smoking among young adults.

Methods: We examined data from 1007 young adults from the New Jersey Adult Tobacco Survey. The adult measure incorporates lifetime and present use, whereas the adolescent measure assesses past 30-day use. The kappa coefficient was used to determine agreement between the 2 current cigarette smoking measures.

Results: Agreement between the measures was high, but not ideal. The percent reporting smoking in the past 30 days but not 100 cigarettes in their lifetime was notably higher, and therefore agreement was lower, for black females, Hispanic males, and college students living on campus.

Conclusions: Sole use of the adult or adolescent measure of current cigarette smoking is insufficient to document progression to regular smoking in young adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking / epidemiology*