Crossing the line: adolescents' experiences of controlling their tobacco use

Qual Health Res. 2004 Nov;14(9):1276-91. doi: 10.1177/1049732304269157.


Although adolescents are often curious about cigarettes and anxious to "try" smoking, they are unsure about what engaging in the act of smoking will mean. Most adolescents who experiment with smoking do not set out to become addicted to tobacco. Using a grounded theory approach, the authors examined the process youth undergo to regain control over their smoking. Accounts of early smoking experiences suggest that youth undergo a process to control tobacco use that includes (a) determining if smoking is a problem, (b) "crossing the line" of acceptable tobacco use, and (c) implementing strategies to regain control of smoking. The findings of this study lay the basis for the development of harm reduction approaches that facilitate youth's propensity to control their tobacco use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Harm Reduction*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Qualitative Research
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology