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Smoking patterns, attitudes, and motives of college student daily and nondaily smokers




da Rocha Rosa, Juliana, author
Aloise-Young, Patricia, advisor
Henry, Kimberly, committee member
Swaim, Randall, committee member
Riggs, Nathaniel, committee member

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To further expand on the existing research on college student smokers, the aims of the current study were threefold: (1) to use a the 17-item College Students Motives for Smoking Scale (CSMSS) to identify different subtypes of daily and nondaily student smokers present across different colleges and universities, (2) to investigate whether smoking variables such as smoking frequency, smoking environment, cigarette purchasing habits, products used, cessation efficacy, and alcohol use patterns predict typologies of college student smokers, and (3) to investigate whether subgroups of college student smokers differ on attitudinal variables such as health-related attitudes, smoker identity attitudes, smoking secrecy, smoker image, and perceived feelings of stigma. Participants included 876 students smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled at a four-year university or college. Results of the Latent Profile Analysis using the CSMSS revealed that five typologies of smokers were present in the sample. Three of these typologies were nondaily smokers: (1) stress/emotional regulation smokers, (2) low endorser smokers, and (3) nondependent smokers. The remaining two typologies, high endorser smokers and addiction/dependence smokers, were daily smokers. An LPA with covariates revealed that days smoked, purchasing patterns, and environment in which smoking occurs were all predictive of membership within the three nondaily smoker typologies. These constructs as well as cessation efficacy predicted membership between nondaily smoker typologies and daily smoker typologies. Lastly, an LPA with outcomes revealed that the nondaily smoker typologies differed from the daily smoker typologies on smoker identity, perceived stigma towards use, smoker image, secrecy of use, and perceived harm of current use.   In general, the current study found that motives for smoking can differentiate between daily and nondaily smokers. However, the CSMSS was not as effective at distinguishing within the nondaily smoker typology. The current study also showed that nondaily smokers and daily smokers differed on both their smoking behaviors and their attitudes towards smoking. Future research should continue to investigate better methods of distinguishing within nondaily smoker and daily smoker typologies.


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