The aim of this study was to examine the association between initial subjective effects from cigarettes and the rate of progression from first cigarette to regular smoking. Latent class analysis (LCA) was applied to subjective effects data from 573 offspring of twins ranging in age from 14 to 32 years. LCA revealed four classes: 1) High on both pleasurable and physiological responses, 2) Cough only response, 3) High on physiological, low on pleasurable responses, and 4) High on pleasurable, low on physiological responses. Classes of responses were then used to predict time from first cigarette to the onset of regular smoking in a Cox proportional hazards model. Time-varying covariates representing relevant psychiatric and psychosocial factors as well as dummy variables representing the offspring-of-twins design were included in the model. Members of classes 1 and 4 transitioned more rapidly to regular smoking than the classes characterized as low on the pleasurable response dimension. Our findings provide evidence that previously reported associations between pleasurable initial experiences and progression to regular smoking hold true as well for the rate at which that transition occurs. Furthermore, the fact that profiles of responses did not fall into global categories of exclusively pleasurable vs. exclusively negative (physiological) responses suggests the importance of considering both dimensions in combination to characterize risk for smoking-related outcomes.
- Offspring of twins
- Subjective effects