Vol 7, No 1 (2022)
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Published online: 2022-02-25

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The evaluation of the relationship between childhood traumas and smoking addiction

Aysu Özay1, Süleyman Görpelioğlu1, Canan Emiroğlu1, Cenk Aypak1
Medical Research Journal 2022;7(1):32-37.


Introduction. Data about the relationship between childhood traumas and cigarette smoking are scarce. In this study, the relationship between childhood abuse and smoking addiction was evaluated in adults.

Material and methods. This research was carried out with the participation of 216 individuals (82 [38%] women and 134 [62%] men) over the age of 18 who applied to the Family Medicine Out-patient Clinics of a tertiary hospital. They were asked to answer the socio-demographic questions as well as the questionnaire forms containing the Fagerström Nicotine Addiction Test (FNAT) and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).

Results. The median age at which men start smoking was significantly lower than that of women (17 vs. 19 years; p = 0.007). Men have higher rates of physical neglect than women (p = 0.001). No significant difference was found between the exposure of individuals to emotional, physical, sexual neglect and abuse and nicotine addiction levels after adjustment for age, gender and education level. However, a significant negative correlation was found between the FNAT score and the CTQ total score, emotional abuse score, physical neglect score, and emotional neglect score.

Conclusion. Contrary to the results in the literature, we did not find a directly proportional relationship between adverse childhood experiences and smoking addiction. This finding suggests that further studies should be done on whether adverse childhood experiences may lead not only to cigarette addiction but also to other serious conditions such as substance abuse, mental and physical health problems. Determinants of child maltreatment are multi-systemic, it therefore, makes sense that in counties with different social, cultural, and economic conditions, the consequences of child maltreatment will also be different.

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