Aims To investigate the influence of gender on emerging tobacco use by testing for gender-based measurement invariance of the Adolescents' Need for Smoking Scale (ANSS) and examining gender differences on each dimension across increasing levels of amount smoked.
Design Cross-sectional survey.
Setting Thirteen secondary schools located in British Columbia, Canada.
Participants Data from 1425 youth who reported smoking at least once in the past month.
Measurements Survey questions about demographic characteristics, tobacco smoking history and need for smoking.
Findings The multi-dimensional structure of the ANSS is equivalent in boys and girls and the ANSS questions are not gender-biased. There were no significant gender differences in the levels of physical dependence across increasing levels of amount smoked. Girls scored higher than boys on levels of emotional dependence across increasing levels of life-time cigarette exposure. Girls also had higher scores on the social dimension of the ANSS compared to boys among those who smoked 100 or more cigarettes.
Conclusions Canadian girls score higher than boys on measures of emotional dependence and social attitudes associated with tobacco smoking.