The relationship between body weight concerns and adolescent smoking

Health Psychol. 1993 Jan;12(1):24-32. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.12.1.24.


Although a number of factors have been found to predict smoking status among adolescents, few researchers have examined how belief in smoking as a weight-control strategy may be related to smoking in this high-risk population. With the goal of discovering whether belief in smoking as a weight-control strategy predicted smoking status, the present investigation surveyed 659 Black and White high school students. Analyses showed that among regular smokers, 39% of White female and 12% of White male smokers reported using smoking to control their appetite and weight. In contrast, not a single Black male or female reported using smoking to control appetite and weight. Although belief in smoking as a weight-control strategy did not predict regular smokers versus never smokers, the weight-belief item reliably separated experimental smokers from regular smokers. The survey also revealed that White female restrained eaters were the most likely to actually use smoking as a weight-control strategy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Body Image*
  • Body Weight*
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Weight Loss