Details of Publication 361 for Project A207:

McDermott L, Dobson A & Owen N. Determinants of continuity and change over 10 years in young women’s smoking. Addiction, 2009; 104(3): 478-487

Aims: To examine prospectively continuity and change in smoking behaviour and associated attributes over a 10-year period. Design, setting and participants: Participants (initially aged 18–23 years) in the Australian Longitudinal Study onWomen’s Health completed postal questionnaires in 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2006. The analysis sample was 6840 women who participated in all surveys and provided complete smoking data. Measurements Outcome variables were transitions in smoking behaviour between surveys 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4 and 1 and 4. Attributes that differentiated continuing smokers from quitters, relapsers from ex-smokers and adopters from never smokers were examined for each survey period. Explanatory variables included previous smoking history, demographic, psychosocial, life-style risk behaviour and life-stage transition factors. Findings Over 10 years, 23% of participants either quit, re-started, adopted or experimented with smoking. Recent illicit drug use and risky or high-risk drinking predicted continued smoking, relapse and smoking adoption. Marriage or being in a committed relationship was associated significantly with quitting, remaining an ex-smoker and not adopting smoking. Living in a rural or remote area and lower educational attainmentwere associated with continued smoking; moderate and high physical activity levelswere associated positively with remaining an ex-smoker. Conclusions: Life-style and life-stage factors are significant determinants of young women’s smoking behaviour. Future research needs to examine the inter-relationships between tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use, and to identify the determinants of continued smoking among women living in rural and remote areas. Cessation strategies could examine the role of physical activity in relapse prevention.

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