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Addict Behav. 2009 Jan;34(1):92-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Age at menarche and weight concerns in relation to smoking trajectory and dependence among adolescent girls enrolled in a smoking cessation trial.

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  • 1National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Biomedical Research Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


Many girls adopt dieting and other practices (i.e. cigarette smoking) to control weight during puberty. This analysis explored the relationship between age at menarche and onset of daily smoking, and whether this relationship was influenced by weight concerns among treatment seeking female adolescents. The sample consisted of 71 participants enrolled in a smoking cessation trial (age 15.2+/-1.3 years; 74.7% European American, baseline BMI 24.7+/-5.4, age at menarche 11.7+/-1.3 years, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence score 7.0+/-1.2). Over 60% of participants reported weight concerns at baseline, based on responses to the Eating Disorders module from the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents. Linear regression analyses revealed a significant association between age at menarche and age of onset of daily smoking (beta=0.18+/-0.09, p=0.038). Having weight concerns did not modify the relationships between age at menarche and smoking trajectory/severity or abstinence. Findings support previous research showing that early maturation represents a risk factor for substance use. Further study in larger samples that include non-treatment-seeking adolescent female smokers is warranted.

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