Progression of college-age cigarette samplers: what influences outcome

Addict Behav. 2005 Feb;30(2):285-94. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.05.017.


Experimental and occasional cigarette use among college students is widespread. Little is known about what differentiates the occasional college smoker who becomes a regular smoker from the one who does not. Possible risk factors include peer smoking, lifestyle factors, such as lack of exercise, and health/addiction concerns. The current study investigated the progression of smoking in a cohort of 321 low-level/occasional smokers. Over the course of 4 years, 45% of low-level/occasional users had become nonsmokers, 35% became occasional smokers, and 20% became daily smokers. Baseline exercise patterns, addiction beliefs, and smoking pervasiveness were modestly related to distal smoking outcome. The level of baseline smoking was strongly related to smoking outcome. These results support the wisdom of limiting access and exposure to cigarettes among the college population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Family
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*