The prevalence of unrecognized tobacco use among young adults

Am J Health Behav. May-Jun 2010;34(3):309-21. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.34.3.6.


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of smoking among young adults and to describe their characteristics.

Methods: Data were examined from the Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey, a telephone survey of 8821 residents with a sample of 1205 young adults.

Results: Prevalence was 39% using the adolescent definition and 32% using the adult definition. Nearly 1 in 5 young adult smokers may be considered a "previously unrecognized smoker" who would not have been identified as a cigarette user according to the standard adult definition.

Conclusions: Future studies assessing prevalence should use both adolescent and adult measures.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Environment
  • Young Adult