Gendered dimensions of smoking among college students

Mimi Nichter, Mark Nichter, Elizabeth E. Lloyd-Richardson, Brian Flaherty, Asli Carkoglu, Nicole Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Ethnographic research, including interviews, focus groups, and observations were conducted to explore gendered dimensions of smoking among low level smokers, including the acceptability of smoking in different contexts; reasons for smoking; the monitoring of self and friends' smoking; and shared smoking as a means of communicating concern and empathy. Important gendered dimensions of smoking were documented. Although males who smoked were described as looking manly, relaxed, and in control, among females, smoking was considered a behavior that made one look slutty and out of control. Young women were found to monitor their own and their friends' smoking carefully and tended to smoke in groups to mitigate negative perceptions of smoking. Gender-specific tobacco cessation programs are warranted on college campuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-243
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • College students
  • Emerging adults
  • Ethnography
  • Gender
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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