Smoking and nicotine dependence. Results from a sample of 14- to 24-year-olds in Germany

Eur Addict Res. 1998 Mar;4(1-2):42-9. doi: 10.1159/000018929.


Ths paper describes the distribution of dependence criteria and diagnoses in a sample of 14- to 24-year-olds from Munich, Germany (n = 3,021; 71% response rate), evaluates differences between nondependent and dependent smokers and examines associations of smoking with other substances, affective and anxiety disorders. Assessment was made using the M-CIDI. The lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV nicotine dependence in the total sample is 19%, rising to 52% among regular smokers. No gender differences were seen in the progression from regular smoking to nicotine dependence, although men were more likely than women to initiate regular use. Analysis of daily cigarette use identified a significant dose-response relationship with the number of endorsed DSM-IV dependence criteria with unsuccessful cut-backs being the most prevalent criterion. As compared to nondependent smokers, dependent smokers were more likely to associate negative health effects with smoking and to have a desire to change and attempt a change in their pattern of use. Regular use of nicotine was found to be significantly associated with other substance and nonsubstance disorders, although dependent regular use was more strongly associated with these disorders than nondependent regular use. These results indicate that daily smoking is a behavior which is resistant to change despite an expressed desire and repeated cut-back attempts. Although initiation of regular smoking among nonsmokers does not occur frequently after the early twenties, the risk for dependent smoking among regular users persists into adulthood and is associated with a range of mental disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / diagnosis
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*