Characteristics of smoking used cigarettes among an incarcerated population

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Little is known about smoking behaviors involving shared and previously used cigarettes, which we refer to as "smoking used cigarettes." Examples include: cigarette sharing with strangers, smoking discarded cigarettes ("butts"), or remaking cigarettes from portions of discarded cigarettes. The current study focuses on the prevalence of and factors associated with smoking used cigarettes prior to incarceration among a U.S. prison population. Questionnaires were administered to 244 male and female inmates at baseline. Prevalence of smoking used cigarettes was assessed using 3 questions; 1 about sharing cigarettes with strangers, 1 about smoking a "found" cigarette, and 1 about smoking previously used cigarettes. Factors associated with those who engaged in smoking used cigarettes were then compared with those who did not engage in smoking used cigarettes. A majority of participants (61.5%) endorsed engaging in at least 1 smoking used cigarette behavior in the past prior to incarceration. Those who engaged in these behaviors were more likely to have a higher degree of nicotine dependence, to have started smoking regularly at a younger age, and to have lived in an unstable living environment prior to incarceration. Our results indicate that a history of smoking used cigarettes is common among incarcerated persons in the United States. Consistent with our hypothesis, engaging in smoking used cigarettes was found to be associated with a higher degree of nicotine dependence.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors