Natural observations of smoking behavior: Are there sex, age, context- or activity-related differences?

  • Burger J
  • Gochfeld M
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We unobtrusively observed 1979 people smoking one to three cigarettes in a variety of everyday activities. There were gender differences only with respect to group size and composition, and the time the cigarette was in the mouth. For most measures the correlations between behaviors were higher for men than women. There were few significant age differences in smoking behavior. We classified the activities of smokers into six broad categories: study, passive watching, active-involvement, eating and drinking (non-alcohol), waiting rooms and alcohol-related. There were significant differences in all measures (except time in mouth) as a function of the activity categories. Generally, smokers that were actively involved or passively watching were in larger groups than smokers studying. Smokers studying or watching had cigarettes lit for longer than smokers actively involved. Generally smokers that were actively involved took fewer puffs per cigarette than other smokers. Number of puffs per cigarette for all activity categories was lower than that reported from laboratory studies. © 1990.

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  • Joanna Burger

  • Michael Gochfeld

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