Youth crowds and cigarette smoking: A prospective study

K.T. Verkooijen, N.K. de Vries, G.A. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examined the prospective relationship between crowd affiliation and smoking behavior among a national sample of 16-22 year old Danes (N = 952). Self-reported data were collected by means of a postal questionnaire at baseline and at 18 months follow-up. The sample included participants, who at baseline reported to identify with a crowd with either a low-smoking norm (n = 705) or a high-smoking norm (n = 247). The results showed that participants, who at baseline identified with a crowd with a high-smoking norm were compared to those, who identified with a low-smoking norm crowd, more likely to have started smoking at time of the follow-up (OR = 2.15). Further, discordance between one's behavior and the norm of the crowd resulted more often in a change in smoking behavior (OR = 2.00) and crowd identification (OR = 2.15) than the absence of such discordance. The results confirm the importance of crowds in smoking initiation and call for more attention to this issue in smoking prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-342
JournalAddiction Research & Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • group self-identification
  • peer group identification
  • substance use
  • drug-use
  • affiliation
  • adolescence
  • friendships

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