Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Keith W. Beard

Second Advisor

Thomas E. Ellis

Third Advisor

Christopher Legrow


A number of researchers have sought to examine psychosocial correlates of smoking behavior and identify differences amongst proposed smoker sub-groupings on measures of psychological constructs; however, few studies to date have investigated the subset of smokers commonly known as social smokers. The recent emergence of the social smoker subtype has led to an upsurge in research on smoking patterns and cessation programming. This dissertation attempts to explore psychosocial differences that may exist between regular smokers and those who identify themselves as social smokers. Further, this study investigated the levels of cigarette dependence, addiction, smoking frequency, perceived health threat of light smoking, readiness to quit, depression, anxiety, social anxiety, and stress experienced by different smokers and nonsmokers. A survey was conducted and results show that social smokers are significantly different from regular smokers and more similar to nonsmokers on numerous variables including: cigarette dependency, depression, anxiety, social anxiety, and stress levels (p < 0.05). Smoker type was also found to be associated with gender, age, smoking behavior, stage of change for smoking cessation, addiction levels, and perceived ease of quitting. Implications for future research and cessation interventions are discussed.



Young adults.