Characterizing and comparing young adult intermittent and daily smokers

Kathleen M. Lenk, Vincent Chen, Debra H. Bernat, Jean L. Forster, Peter A. Rode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We interviewed 732 smokers (from five US upper Midwestern states) via telephone in 2006 to examine young adult smoking patterns. We first defined two groups of intermittent smokers-low (who smoked for 1-14 days in the past 30 days) and high (who smoked for 15-29 days in the past 30 days), and then analyzed differences between these two groups and daily smokers. Low intermittent smokers were much less likely to consider themselves smokers, feel addicted, or smoke with friends than high intermittent smokers. Daily smokers were more likely to feel addicted and have trouble quitting smoking than high intermittent smokers. Implications, limitations, and ideas for future studies will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2128-2140
Number of pages13
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 23 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health R01-CA086191, and Jean Forster is the Principal Investigator. We thank Rose Hilk for her assistance with data management and Clearwater Research, Inc. for conducting the telephone surveys. Address correspondence to Kathleen M. Lenk, 1300 S. Second St. Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454. E-mail:


  • Daily smokers
  • Intermittent smoking
  • Non-daily smoking
  • Occasional smoking
  • Young adults


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