Social Smoking Among Young Adults: Investigation of Intentions and Attempts to Quit

Psychological Sciences, School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, University of California, Ca, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 07/2011; 101(7):1291-6. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We compared the association between 3 different definitions of social smoking-a common pattern of smoking among young adults-and cessation indicators.
We used a Web-enabled, cross-sectional national survey of 1528 young adults (aged 18-25 years) from a panel (recruited by random-digit dialing) maintained by the research group Knowledge Networks.
Among 455 smokers, 62% self-identified or behaved as social smokers. Compared with established smokers, self-identified social smokers were less likely to have cessation intentions (odds ratio [OR] = 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70, 0.98) and cessation attempts lasting 1 month or longer (OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.45, 0.66). Behavioral social smokers (mainly or only smoking with others) were more likely than were self-identified social smokers (those who did not report these behavior patterns) to have cessation intentions (mainly OR(mainly) = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.63; and OR(only) = 2.02; 95% CI = 1.02, 3.97) and cessation attempts (OR(mainly) = 4.33; 95% CI = 2.68, 7.00; and OR(only) = 6.82; 95% CI = 3.29, 14.15).
Self-identified social smokers may be considered a high-risk group with particular challenges for cessation. Behavioral social smokers may represent a group primed for cessation. Public health efforts should address these differences when developing smoking cessation strategies.

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    • "Quantitative studies, which were considerably heterogeneous in terms of the ways in which they assessed smoker identity, have reported that smokers do not necessarily internalize a smoker identity, instead they deny being a smoker (Berg et al., 2009; Choi, Choi, & Rifon, 2010; Leas, Zablocki, Edland, & Al-Delaimy, 2014; Levinson et al., 2007; Ridner, Walker, Hart, & Myers, 2010) or identify themselves with alternative self-labels, such as " social smoker " (Song & Ling, 2011). Those with a smoker or social smoker identity are less likely to intend to quit smoking (Falomir & Invernizzi, 1999; Høie, Moan, & Rise, 2010; Moan & Rise, 2005; Song & Ling, 2011), more likely to increase the frequency of smoking (Hertel, Mermelstein, & Robin, 2012), and more likely to respond defensively to persuasive antitobacco messages (Freeman , Hennessy, & Marzullo, 2001). Having positive feelings about one's identity as a smoker has been reported to undermine efforts to stop smoking (Tombor, Shahab, Brown, & West, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Identity is an important influence on behavior. To identify potential targets for smoking cessation interventions in young adults, we synthesized findings from qualitative studies on smoker identity and potential influences on smoking and smoking cessation. Methods: A systematic search of 4 electronic databases up to September 19, 2013, was conducted to identify qualitative studies on smoker identity in smokers and ex-smokers aged 16-34. Key concepts were extracted from individual studies and synthesized into higher-order interpretations by following the principles of meta-ethnography. Results: Seventeen relevant papers were identified. At the highest level of interpretation, we identified 4 types of findings: (a) contributory factors to identity, (b) identity in relation to smoking, (c) contextual and temporal patterning, and (d) behavior in relation to smoking. Contributory factors included the desire to establish aspirational individual and social identities, enact a smoker identity appropriate to the momentary social context, and alter personal nonsmoking rules when consuming alcohol. Smoker identity was multifaceted and incorporated individuals' defensive rationalizations, and both positive and negative feelings attached to it. Smoker identities took time to develop, were subject to change, and were context dependent. Identity was found to play a role in quit attempts. Conclusions: Qualitative research into the identity of young adult smokers has established it as a multifaceted phenomenon serving important functions but also involving conflict and defensive rationalizations. It develops over time and contextual factors influence its expression. The nature of a smoker's identity can play an important role in smoking cessation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
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    • "While social smoking behavior is common in young adulthood, there is evidence to suggest that nondaily young adult smokers are using cigarettes in non-social as well as social settings (K. M. Lenk, Chen, Bernat, Forster, & Rode, 2009; Schane, Glantz, & Ling, 2009; Song & Ling, 2011) Our study supports nondaily smoking as a persistent pattern among young adults; more longitudinal research is warranted to investigate the social and environmental circumstances, including policies, that promote or prevent smoking in social and non-social settings over time. "
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