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Predictors of the Transition from Experimental to Daily Smoking in Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood



Although smoking initiation is rare in young adulthood, the progression to a higher level of smoking still occurs at this developmental stage. Thus, this study was aimed at exploring predictors of the transition from experimental to daily smoking in late teens and young adults using the 2nd and 3rd waves from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Predictors were chosen based on Problem Behavior Theory and others that have been found to be influential in the literature. Of the variables studied, age, racial-ethnic identity (Black and Hispanic as compared to White youth), risk-taking tendency, and marijuana use predicted daily smoking 5 years later. Only one predictor, GPA, was protective for reducing the likelihood for the transition to daily smoking. The results are discussed in regard to implications for prevention of the progression to persistent daily smoking.