Self-monitored smoking motives

J Subst Abuse. 1990;2(1):121-7. doi: 10.1016/s0899-3289(05)80051-3.


The motives for smoking in 73 low, medium, and high rate smokers were surveyed and were evaluated the validity of the Reasons for Smoking scale (RFS) by correlating RFS scores with self-monitored reasons for smoking. Combined sample correlations were significant for 5 of the 6 RFS reasons. However, all correlations were modest, the number of correlations varied with smoking rate, and the RFS was not a valid measure of pleasurable relaxation, the reason most frequently reported during self-monitoring. The unexpected finding that pleasurable relaxation, not reduction of negative affect, was the most frequently endorsed reason conflicts with previous surveys, almost all of which sampled older smokers. Smoking behavior of younger smokers may differ from older smokers in ways important to the study of smoking motivation. These differences may explain why experimental studies with undergraduates generally find no relationship between smoking and negative affect while studies with older subjects do.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Arousal*
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Smoking / psychology*