The reliability and predictive value of adolescents' reports of initial reactions to smoking


A sample of 372 adolescents completed annual surveys regarding their initial reactions to smoking (IRTS) and their current smoking status. Each annual survey asked participants if they had the following five reactions the first time they smoked a cigarette: coughing, or feeling dizzy, sick, high, or relaxed. Time 1 IRTS data were collected within 1 year of the reported initial smoking experience, and Time 2 IRTS data were collected 1 year later. Kappa values for two IRTS items, coughing (.45) and dizziness (.40), indicated modest but acceptable reliability across a 1-year period, but the remaining items showed poor reliability (all ≤ .31). Logistic regression analyses indicated that no IRTS item significantly predicted regular (at least weekly) smoking 1 year later. However, when IRTS and smoking status were assessed concurrently (at Time 2), reports of feeling relaxed and not coughing during the initial episode were significantly correlated with regular smoking. Participants who progressed from experimental to regular smoking from Time 1 to Time 2 were more likely to report relaxation as an initial reaction to smoking at Time 2 after denying relaxation at Time 1.

Publication Title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research