Association between trauma exposure and smoking in a population-based sample of young adults.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the relation between smoking and trauma exposure in a population-based, longitudinal sample. Contrary to current smoking trends in the general population, recent findings indicate continued high smoking rates in trauma-exposed samples. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 15,197 adolescents was followed from 1995 (mean age, 15.6 years) to 2002 (mean age, 22 years) as part of three waves of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). We examined the relation between self-reported trauma exposure and smoking behaviors (lifetime regular, current regular), nicotine dependence based on the Fagerström Test of Nicotine Dependence (FTND), number of cigarettes smoked per day, and age of onset of regular smoking. RESULTS: Controlling for demographics and depressive symptoms, exposure to traumatic events yielded a significant increase in the odds of lifetime regular smoking. Nicotine dependence and cigarettes smoked per day was also significantly related to exposure to childhood physical and sexual abuse. Decreased age of regular smoking onset was seen for those reporting childhood physical abuse and childhood sexual abuse. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to traumatic life events during childhood and young adulthood increases the risk of smoking, highlighting the need to prevent and treat tobacco use in this vulnerable population.
Roberts, ME; Fuemmeler, BF; McClernon, FJ; Beckham, JC
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