Publication Abstract

Authors: Kenkel D, Lillard DR, Mathios A

Title: Smoke or fog? The usefulness of retrospectively reported information about smoking.

Journal: Addiction 98(9):1307-13

Date: 2003 Sep

Abstract: AIMS: To investigate the reliability and validity of retrospectively reported information on smoking. DESIGN: Nationally representative retrospective data from longitudinal surveys and contemporaneous data from repeated cross-sectional surveys were used. PARTICIPANTS: Adult respondents to three of the four samples of the National Longitudinal Surveys Original Cohort 1966-68; the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979; and various waves of the US National Health Interview Survey. MEASUREMENTS: Reliability was investigated by calculating kappa statistics for repeated measures of ever-smoking and annual-smoking status. Validity was investigated by comparing smoking prevalence rates generated by retrospective data with contemporaneously measured rates. FINDINGS: Kappa statistics indicated the repeated measures of ever-smoking status show substantial agreement; repeated measures of annual-smoking status show moderate agreement. Retrospective reports on smoking behavior produced prevalence rates that match reasonably well with those from contemporaneous reports of smoking behavior. CONCLUSIONS: Retrospective data on smoking can be an important resource for tobacco addiction research.