An examination of the smoking identities and taxonomies of smoking behaviour of youth

C. T.C. Okoli, C. G. Richardson, P. A. Ratner, J. L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To address observations that the smoking identities of youth are valid descriptors of their smoking behaviour, we examined the relationships between self-reported smoking identities, perceived levels of addiction, and established taxonomies of smoking behaviour of youth. Method: Cross-sectional data were collected on demographics, perceived extent of addiction to tobacco, smoking history, and self-reported smoking identity from questionnaires administered to 8225 students in British Columbia, Canada. A total of 7246 participants were categorised according to four smoking taxonomies established in the literature. Differences in perceived physical and mental addiction between smoking identity groups were calculated. The strength of the associations between the taxonomies of smoking and the smoking identity groups was also assessed. Results: There were significant differences in perceived levels of physical (Kruskal-Wallis χ2 = 3985.02, p<0.001) and mental (Kruskal-Wallis χ2 = 4046.09, p<0.001) addiction to tobacco by the participants' self-reported smoking identity. Youth smoking identities were modestly associated with the established smoking taxonomies (Pearson C contingency coefficient = 0.64-0.72). Conclusion: Self-reported smoking identities appear to provide valid characterisations of the smoking behaviour of youths that complement and elaborate existing taxonomies of smoking behaviour. Questions about self-reported smoking identity should be used in conjunction with smoking behaviour taxonomies when investigating youth smoking behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalTobacco Control
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'An examination of the smoking identities and taxonomies of smoking behaviour of youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this