187002 Social smoking and cessation: Do young adult social smokers intend to quit?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:06 AM

Anna V. Song, PhD , Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Pamela Ling, MD, MPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Young adults have the highest smoking prevalence of any age group in the USA. “Social smoking” is increasingly recognized among young adults, but published research uses inconsistent definitions.

Objective: Compare three different definitions of social smokers (self-identified social smokers; smokers who mainly smoke with others; smokers who only smoke with others) and their associated quitting intentions and behaviors.

Methods: Web-enabled, cross-sectional national survey of 1528 young adults (age 18-25) from a panel maintained by the research group Knowledge Networks. Panel members are recruited using random digit dialing, thus providing better generalizability than convenience internet samples.

Results: Overall smoking prevalence in this sample was 30%. 58% of smokers self-identified as “social smokers”, 38% reported smoking mainly with other people, and 19% reported smoking only with others. Self-identified social smoking was significantly related to intentions to quit in the next six months, OR=1.53 (1.05-2.24), but smoking mainly with others and smoking only with others were not, ORs=1.50 (0.99-2.70) and 1.77 (0.94-3.34), respectively. Self-identified social smoking, smoking mainly with others, and only with others were all significantly related to having made a quit attempt for one month or longer, ORs=1.55 (1.03-2.32), 2.73 (1.83-4.07), and 1.64 (1.02-2.64), respectively.

Conclusions: Self-identification as a “social smoker” may indicate greater intentions to quit and more sustained quit attempts. Those who smoke mostly or exclusively with others may make attempts to quit without prior plans or intentions to quit. Smoking cessation programs geared towards young adults need to address specific motivations for quitting among social smokers.

Learning Objectives:
Understand how differences in operational definitions of social smoking affect research questions and outcomes. Discuss the quitting intentions and behaviors associated with social smoking. Discuss strategies aimed at social smoking that may motivate cessation among young adults.

Keywords: Smoking Cessation, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education conducting research on adolescent and young adult tobacco-related decision-making.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.