Intent to quit among daily and non-daily college student smokers

Erika A Pinsker, C. J. Berg, E. J. Nehl, A. V. Prokhorov, T. S. Buchanan, Jasjit S Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Given the high prevalence of young adult smoking, we examined (i) psychosocial factors and substance use among college students representing five smoking patterns and histories [non-smokers, quitters, native non-daily smokers (i.e. never daily smokers), converted non-daily smokers (i.e. former daily smokers) and daily smokers] and (ii) smoking category as it relates to readiness to quit among current smokers. Of the 4438 students at six Southeast colleges who completed an online survey, 69.7 (n = 3094) were non-smokers, 6.6 (n = 293) were quitters, 7.1 (n = 317) were native non-daily smokers, 6.4 (n = 283) were converted non-daily smokers and 10.2 (n = 451) were daily smokers. There were differences in sociodemographics, substance use (alcohol, marijuana, other tobacco products) in the past 30 days and psychosocial factors among these subgroups of students (P < 0.001). Among current smokers, there were differences in cigarettes smoked per day, recent quit attempts, self-identification as a smoker, self-efficacy and motivation to quit (P < 0.001). After controlling for important factors, converted non-daily smokers were more likely to be ready to quit in the next month versus native non-daily smokers (OR = 2.15, CI 1.32-3.49, P = 0.002). Understanding differences among young adults with different smoking patterns and histories is critical in developing interventions targeting psychosocial factors impacting cessation among this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalHealth education research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (1K07CA139114-01A1; PI: Berg) and the Georgia Cancer Coalition (PI: Berg). J.S.A. is supported in part by 1P60MD003422 from the National Institute for Minority Health Disparities.

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