These findings suggest that youth smoking prevention programs should include a discussion of nicotine addiction, including how quickly and from just a few cigarettes an adolescent can become addicted. This study found differences in how adolescents characterized some smoker types based on individual smoking experience. While the majority of adolescents agreed selleck chem Volasertib that a nonsmoker never smokes, adolescent ever-smokers were more likely to assign some frequency of smoking to a nonsmoker. On the opposite end of the spectrum, adolescent never-smokers were more likely to characterize a heavy smoker with a greater length of smoking compared with ever-smokers. These results suggest that ever-smokers may have a greater flexibility in determining what constitutes nonsmoking and heavy smoking, while never-smokers may have much more narrower definitions.
Although this study did not specifically investigate perceptions of smoking risk, our findings may contribute to future studies on risk perceptions among adolescent smokers and nonsmokers, which have found that adolescent smokers believe that health risks of smoking are lower for themselves than for other smokers their own age (Halpern-Felsher et al., 2004), and that perceptions predict smoking initiation (Song et al., 2009). These findings may be related to this flexibility in defining what smoking is and is not in this particular group. Gender differences in how adolescents characterized different smoker types were detected. We found that males were more likely to characterize some smoker types more broadly than females, although this was not found to be consistent for all smoker types and characteristics.
Previous studies have found gender differences in smoking identities among adolescent boys and girls (Lloyd, Lucas, & Fernbach, 1997; Okoli, Torchalla, Ratner, & Johnson, 2011), which suggests that there may be potential differences in how adolescents characterize different smoker types, regardless of their own smoking identity. Future research should examine Dacomitinib these gender differences in order to develop more effective and tailored smoking prevention and cessation messages. Our study also found a considerable amount of overlap in definitions between different smoker types. For example, adolescents�� characterizations of smoker and regular smoker showed a great deal of overlap in terms of the frequency, amount, and place of smoking. This was also reflected in the qualitative interview data. Other smoker types that showed overlap included the addicted smoker�Cheavy smoker and casual smoker�Csocial smoker pairs.