Methods: Data are from the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP), a longitudinal panel study originally drawn from Seattle, Washington, elementary schools. The sample includes 808 participants with high retention and is gender balanced and ethnically diverse. Analyses focus on adult waves of data from ages 30 to 39. Social developmental constructs are assessed with self-reports of past-year behavior and consider multiple life domains. C-cig and e-cig use are self-reports of past month use. Hypothesized pathways are examined using structural equation modeling.
Results: Analyses indicate that tobacco-using social environments in the early 30s played a significant role in predicting both c-cig and e-cig use at age 39, even after accounting for gender, SES, and prior cigarette use. However, personal norms about smoking were more important for c-cig use than for e-cig use.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that social developmental factors may be useful to consider for prevention efforts seeking to reduce adult cigarette use. In particular, the early 30s may not be too late for interventions targeting adult social development to affect smoking behaviors. E-cigs may present unique challenges, however, in that anti-smoking norms may not readily translate to this relatively new technology.