Background Despite abundant evidence that lower education is associated with a higher risk of smoking, whether the association is causal has not been convincingly established. quit attempts, and were less likely to quit smoking (odds ratio = 0.34; CI = 0.19, 0.62). The effects of education on quitting smoking were attenuated in the sibling fixed effects models that controlled for familial vulnerability to smoking. Conclusions A substantial portion of the education differential in smoking that has been repeatedly observed is usually attributable to factors shared by siblings that contribute to shortened educational careers and to lifetime smoking trajectories. Reducing disparities in cigarette smoking, including educational disparities, may therefore require approaches that focus on factors early in life that influence smoking risk over the adult life span. = 17921) between 2001C04. Participants in the current study were selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure as part of the Brown-Harvard Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center, which involved a core assessment interview and three component studies. Screening questionnaires were mailed to 4579 of the 15 721 Boston and Providence NCPP offspring who survived until age 7. Of the 3121 questionnaires returned (68.2%), 2271 were eligible for participation based on the combined inclusion criteria of the three component studies. In total, we enrolled 1674 NCPP offspring. Participants enrolled in the NEFS had a somewhat higher level of education (e.g. 64.1% with at least some college education) than participants who were eligible but not enrolled (e.g. 51.8% with at least some college education). Data from 49 individuals were excluded from the final sample because of participation in a pilot version of the survey (= 4) or because of problems with the interview administration (= 45). This yielded 1625 completed adult buy TG 100713 assessments. The analysis sample for the current study was restricted to participants who reported having smoked at least once in their lifetime and had complete data on all key study variables. Measures Educational attainment Education was assessed during the NEFS follow-up interview and was classified according to five categories: (i) less than high school or GED; (ii) high school degree; (iii) high school degree plus additional technical training or certificate; (iv) some college and (v) college degree. Smoking Smoking histories were obtained by the Life Interview of Smoking Trajectories and Quitting Methods Questionnaire, developed by the Methods and Measurement core of the Brown-Harvard Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center. These Smcb instruments obtain detailed information on participants experiences with smoking beginning from experimentation, progression to regular smoking, levels of consumption, nicotine dependence and patterns of quit attempts. Regular smoking was defined as a positive response to the question Did you ever become a weekly smoker (that is, smoke at least once per week for two months or longer)? We created a summary measure of cigarette consumption using data buy TG 100713 on participants smoking intensity and duration during their heaviest smoking phase; similar to measures of pack-years,18 this was calculated as the number buy TG 100713 of years of participants heaviest smoking phase number of cigarettes per day/20. Nicotine dependence was defined according to = 1311) reported lifetime smoking, and therefore comprised the analysis sample for the current study. A comparison of demographic characteristics between the full interviewed sample of 1625 and the analysis sample of 1331 lifetime smokers is shown in Table buy TG 100713 1. The samples are comparable with respect age, sex, race/ethnicity and the number of siblings per family. The mean (SD) age of the analysis sample is usually 39.1 years (1.8); the sample is usually 59.5% females (= 780), and 84.0% Whites (= 1101). 10.8% of the sample has less than a high school education (= 142), while one-third has a college degree (= 365). The number of siblings in the full and analysis samples is also shown in Table 1. The analysis sample represents 1036 families; 793 participants did not have a sibling in the study, whereas the remaining 518 participants represent 243 families. The age range of siblings is an approximate indicator of the extent of shared.