Reasons for smoking among tri-ethnic daily and nondaily smokers

Kim Pulvers, Taneisha S. Scheuermann, Ashley S. Emami, Brittany Basora, Xianghua Luo, Samir S Khariwala, Jasjit S Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Nondaily smokers experience adverse effects from tobacco use, yet they have been understudied compared to daily smokers. Understanding how reasons for smoking (RS) differ by smoking level, gender, and race/ethnicity could inform tailored interventions.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered through an online panel survey service to 2,376 current smokers who were at least 25 years of age. The sample was stratified to obtain equal numbers of 3 racial/ethnic groups (African American [AA], Latino, and White) across smoking level (native nondaily, converted nondaily, daily light, and daily moderate/heavy).

RESULTS: A 7-factor structure of a 20-item Modified Reasons for Smoking Scale (MRSS) was confirmed (each subscale alpha > 0.80). Each factor of the MRSS varied by smoking level, with nondaily smokers endorsing all RS less frequently than daily smokers (p < .0001). The 4 smoker subgroups incrementally differed from one another (p < .05) with several exceptions between converted nondaily and daily light smokers. Males reported stronger RS on 5 out of 7 reasons (p < .05). Females had higher scores on tension reduction/relaxation (p < .0001). Latinos reported stronger RS than Whites and AAs on all reasons (p < .05) except for tension reduction/relaxation (p > .05). AAs and Whites were comparable on all RS (p > .05).

CONCLUSIONS: The present study highlights considerable variability across smoking level, gender, and race/ethnicity in strength of RS. Addressing subgroup differences in RS may contribute to more sensitive and effective prevention and treatment efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1576
Number of pages10
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

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