Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure


Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Professor Nadine Henley


This study explores how young people conceptualise addiction to smoking and, also the relationship between young people's addiction beliefs and intentions to smoke cigarettes. Addiction to smoking is a major health problem, not just for adults, but also for young smokers, up to 60% of whom are dependent on nicotine. However, anti-smoking prevention efforts targeted at young people generally emphasise ill-health effects and little attention is paid to addiction education which is generally considered relevant only to adult smoking and cessation efforts. Perhaps as a consequence, young people appear to have many misconceptions and unrealistic ideas about addiction, and these may possibly have influenced initial decisions to take up smoking. For example, between 50% and 60% of young smokers believe that it would be easy or very easy to stop smoking altogether if and when they choose to and the majority of daily smokers mistakenly believe that they will not be smoking for more than five years. For these young smokers, becoming addicted is often an unforeseen consequence and most are surprised to find that they cannot give up smoking as easily as they thought. The majority of addicted smokers regret ever taking up smoking but nevertheless continue to smoke cigarettes for perhaps 30 to 40 years because they find it very difficult to stop. This backdrop provides the impetus for the present study.