Early interventions may aid in smoking cessation, says study.
Using data from large-scale national surveys, Carla Storr was able to show in a study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research that there is a small proportion of youth, who, once they start smoking, move on to meeting dependence criteria very rapidly-within a two-year period.
"Quantity and frequency of smoking is not always synonymous with meeting the definition for being addicted," explained Storr, whose research focuses on mental health aspects of addictive behavior.
Another one of her studies, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed a link between children with behaviour problems in the primary grades and early tobacco addiction.
For that study, she looked at longitudinal data collected by Johns Hopkins researchers from a cohort of more than 2,000 Baltimore City elementary school students, starting in 1983.
Storr found that students whose first grade teachers classified them as having behaviour problems were more likely to start smoking early and become dependent.
The results indicate a need for much earlier interventions, said Storr.
"We wouldn't have to worry about getting people to cease smoking as adults," said Storr," if they never started to begin with."