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Empirical support for a multi-dimensional model of sensations experienced by youth during their initial smoking episodes

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To examine the dimensionality of sensations experienced during initial tobacco smoking. Design 

Cross-sectional survey. Setting 

Thirteen secondary schools located in British Columbia, Canada. Participants 

Data from 1187 adolescents who responded ‘yes’ to the question: ‘Have you ever tried cigarette smoking, even one or two puffs?’. Measurements 

Participants answered questions about their demographic characteristics, tobacco smoking history and sensations experienced during their initial smoking episodes. Findings 

The sensations appear to represent the following three separate but modestly correlated dimensions: a pleasant dimension defined by feeling good and relaxed; an unpleasant dimension defined by coughing, feeling sick and nervous; and a ‘buzz’ dimension defined by feeling high and dizzy. The three factors made statistically significant contributions to the prediction of transition to regular smoking (defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in one's life-time) after adjusting for age, sex and age at first puff. Conclusions 

The results suggest that three relatively distinct physiological systems appear to explain the relationship between initial smoking sensations and probability of becoming a regular smoker. Researchers examining sensations experienced during initial tobacco smoking episodes should consider using a three-dimensional profile of symptoms composed of pleasant, unpleasant and buzz dimensions.
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Keywords: adolescent; factor analysis; initial sensations; tobacco smoking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: IMPART, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and 2: School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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