Objectives: To investigate characteristics of occasional smokers who deny being smokers (ie, deniers).
Methods: Data were from 3 rounds of the Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey (MATS 2003, 2007, and 2010), a statewide, cross-sectional, and random-digit-dial telephone survey.
Results: Nearly half of occasional smokers did not view themselves as smokers. Characteristics that were predictive of being a denier included less perceived harm from secondhand smoke, fewer days smoked, and fewer cigarettes smoked per day.
Conclusions: Denial of being a smoker is primarily characterized by very light smoking. Future communication efforts should be tailored for this group.