Developmental trajectories of cigarette smoking and their correlates from early adolescence to young adulthood

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004 Jun;72(3):400-10. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.72.3.400.


Smoking initiation typically occurs in adolescence and increases over time into emerging adulthood. Thus adolescence and emerging adulthood compose a critical time period for prevention and intervention efforts. To inform these efforts, this study used latent growth mixture modeling to identify 6 smoking trajectories from ages 13 to 23 among 5,914 individuals: nonsmokers (28%), stable highs (6%), early increasers (10%), late increasers (10%), decreasers (6%), and triers (40%). By age 23, the trajectories merged into 2 distinct groups of low- and high-frequency and their standing on age 23 outcomes reflected this grouping. Consideration of these results can help researchers identify at-risk individuals before their smoking becomes too problematic, providing an opportunity for intervention and possible prevention of nicotine dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

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