• Journal Article

A closer look at smoking among young adults: Where tobacco control should focus its attention


Green, M. P., McCausland, K. L., Xiao, H., Duke, J., Vallone, D. M., & Healton, C. G. (2007). A closer look at smoking among young adults: Where tobacco control should focus its attention. American Journal of Public Health, 97(8), 1427-1433. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.103945


Objectives. We sought to fill gaps in knowledge of smoking behaviors among college-educated and non–college-educated young adults. <br><br>Methods. We used data from the 2003 Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey to analyze smoking behaviors among young adults aged 18–24 years and older young adults aged 25–34 years by college status (enrolled, or with a degree, but not enrolled) and other measures of socioeconomic position. <br><br>Results. Current smoking prevalence among US young adults aged 18–24 years who are not enrolled in college or who do not have a college degree was 30%. This was more than twice the current smoking prevalence among college-educated young adults (14%). Non–college-educated young adults were more likely than were college-educated young adults to start smoking at a younger age and were less likely to have made a quit attempt, although no differences were found in their intentions to quit. Higher rates of smoking in the non–college-educated population were also evident in the slightly older age group. <br><br>Conclusions. Non–college-educated young adults smoke at more than twice the rate of their college-educated counterparts. Targeted prevention and cessation efforts are needed for non–college-educated young adults to prevent excess morbidity and mortality in later years. <br><br>