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Addict Behav. 2009 Dec;34(12):1036-41. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.06.012. Epub 2009 Jul 5.

Young adult smoking: what factors differentiate ex-smokers, smoking cessation treatment seekers and nontreatment seekers?

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Suite 4100, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The present study investigated demographic and psychosocial correlates of smoking status and predictors of smoking cessation among young adults, ages 18-30 years old. Young adults (n=294) completed a self-report survey regarding their health habits and smokers were offered the opportunity to enroll in a smoking cessation program. Substitute reinforcers were greater among ex-smokers compared to nontreatment-seeking smokers, treatment-seeking smokers who did participate in a smoking cessation program and treatment-seeking smokers who did not subsequently participate in a smoking cessation program. Greater complementary reinforcers and delay discounting rates differentiated nontreatment-seeking smokers from ex-smokers and treatment-seeking smokers who subsequently attended a smoking cessation program. Nontreatment seekers were less likely to have higher depression symptoms than ex-smokers. Treatment seekers who did not attend a smoking cessation program tended to live in a household with another smoker, to not be college educated, and to be non-white. Young adult smokers who increased their substitute reinforcers across treatment were almost two times more likely to be quit at treatment end. These results highlight variables that may be important to consider in recruitment strategies and treatment components for smoking cessation interventions for young adult smokers.

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