Factors associated with short-term transitions of non-daily smokers: socio-demographic characteristics and other tobacco product use

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To examine the transitions in smoking status among non-daily smokers who transitioned to daily or former smokers or remained as non-daily smokers during a 12-month period. We analyzed factors associated with these transitions, including the use of cigars and smokeless tobacco (SLT).


Secondary data analyses using pooled data from the 2003, 2006/07 and 2010/11 Tobacco Use Supplements to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS).


United States.


Self-respondents aged 18+ who have smoked for more than 5 years and were non-daily smokers 12 months before the interview (n = 13 673, or 14.5% of current smokers).


Multinomial logistic regression model to determine the correlates of non-daily to daily, stable non-daily and non-daily to former smoking transitions among non-daily smokers at baseline. The model controlled for socio-demographic factors and the use of cigars and SLT.


Of the adults in our sample, 2.6% were non-daily smokers at baseline. Among these, 69.7% remained non-daily smokers (stable non-daily smokers), 18.4% became daily smokers (non-daily to daily smokers) and 11.9% quit smoking (non-daily to former smokers) after 12 months. The non-daily to daily versus stable non-daily smoking transition was less likely among those who were aged 65+ (P = 0.018), male (P < 0.001), Hispanic (P < 0.001), with an income of $25 000–49 999 or ≥$75 000 and current users of SLT (P = 0.003), but more likely among those without a college degree compared with the appropriate reference group. The non-daily to former versus stable non-daily smoking transition was less likely among those aged 25+, male (P = 0.013), non-Hispanic Asian (P = 0.032), without a college degree, widowed/divorced/separated (P = 0.013) or never married (P = 0.011) and current users of cigars (P = 0.003) compared with the appropriate reference group.


While more than two-thirds of non-daily smokers in the United States remain as such after 12 months, others become daily smokers or quit. The likelihood of remaining stable non-daily smokers and of transition from non-daily to daily and non-daily to former smokers is associated with socio-demographic factors and current use of cigars and smokeless tobacco.

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