Cigarette smokers do more than just smoke cigarettes.

F. G. Castro, M. D. Newcomb, C. McCreary, L. Baezconde-Garbanati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In this study, we hypothesized that light and moderate-to-heavy cigarette smokers, when compared with nonsmokers, would exhibit significantly less healthy attitudes and behaviors on several dimensions relevant to the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). A factor analysis of survey items measuring knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in five CHD risk areas produced four major factors, which we labeled Attitudes (Factor 1), Health Consciousness (Factor 2), Knowledge (Factor 3), and Unhealthy Behaviors (Factor 4). Factor-based scales generated for each of these four factors were used in a one-way multivariate analysis of variance to examine differences between nonsmokers, light smokers, and moderate-to-heavy smokers. Cigarette smokers versus nonsmokers exhibited less positive attitudes toward CHD risk behaviors, whereas moderate-to-heavy cigarette smokers, as compared with the light smokers and the nonsmokers, exhibited lower levels of health consciousness and enacted unhealthy behaviors at a greater frequency. The moderate-to-heavy cigarette smokers also exhibited a lower commitment to enact healthy behavioral changes in the immediate future, even after corrections were introduced for their lower frequency of healthy behaviors during the past week. Overall, these results support our hypothesis that cigarette smokers, particularly as they become more involved with cigarette smoking, do more than just smoke cigarettes; they exhibit a less healthy lifestyle as shown by cognitive, behavioral, and motivational dimensions related to cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-129
Number of pages23
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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