The association between cigarette smoking and DSM-IV nicotine dependence among first year college students

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Jan 12;86(2-3):106-14. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.05.025. Epub 2006 Jul 11.


Aims: This study was undertaken to evaluate the association between cigarette smoking behavior and DSM-IV nicotine dependence.

Design: Drawing on a sample of first year college students selected for representation across a continuum of smoking behavior, current DSM-IV nicotine dependence criteria were assessed among participants reporting any smoking in the preceding week on a web-based survey protocol. Logistic regression and receiver operator characteristic analyses were used to estimate the overall concordance between smoking and DSM-IV nicotine dependence.

Findings: Relationships were supported between both quantity and frequency of smoking in the past week and DSM-IV nicotine dependence showing higher prevalence of dependence at higher levels of use (p<0.05). While the highest prevalence of nicotine dependence was seen among those reporting the most frequent and heavy smoking, a substantial number of participants reporting daily and/or heavy smoking did not meet criteria for nicotine dependence. Conversely, nicotine dependence was seen among a subgroup of participants reporting relatively low levels of non-daily smoking. Diagnostic concordance was found to be moderate for both quantity and frequency and was not improved by combining information from these two indices.

Conclusions: Aside from confirming DSM-IV nicotine dependence at relatively low levels of smoking, these results may be used to inform research aimed at identifying samples of nicotine dependent youth across the range of smoking levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*