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Adaptation of the Young Adults’ Cigarette Dependence (YACD) Scale for the development and validation of the Adolescent Cigarette Dependence Scale (ACDS)

  • Hallit, Souheil1, 2
  • Obeid, Sahar2, 1, 3
  • Sacre, Hala2
  • Akel, Marwan2, 4
  • Khoury, Alessandro5
  • Salameh, Pascale2, 6, 7
  • 1 Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK),
  • 2 INSPECT-LB: Institut National de Santé Publique, Épidémiologie Clinique et Toxicologie-Liban, Beirut, Lebanon
  • 3 Research and Psychology Departments, Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross, Jal Eddib, Lebanon
  • 4 Lebanese International University,
  • 5 American University of Beirut,
  • 6 Lebanese University,
  • 7 University of Nicosia,
Published Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication Date
Feb 04, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-021-12667-6
PMID: 33543440
PMCID: PMC7861582
PubMed Central


Vulnerable adolescents may lose control over cigarette use within a day or two after smoking their first cigarette, as nicotine dependence (ND) symptoms may appear before actual daily smoking and usually occur at low levels of daily smoking. Moreover, smoking can cause illnesses and promote other types of substance abuse. Therefore, it was deemed essential to adapt the Young Adults’ Cigarette Dependence (YACD) Scale to develop and validate the Adolescent Cigarette Dependence Scale (ACDS) in Lebanese adolescents and evaluate whether cumulative cigarette smoking is associated with nicotine dependence and symptoms of dependence. A cross-sectional study was carried out between August and September 2020, during the partial sanitary lockdown imposed by the government to limit COVID-19, coinciding with the summer holidays for most Lebanese. The total sample consisted of 564 community-dwelling adolescents aged 13 to 18. A factor analysis was performed using a varimax rotation. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measurement of sampling adequacy and Bartlett’s sphericity test were appropriate. The factors retained corresponded to Eigenvalues > 1. Cronbach’s alpha value represented the internal consistency of the scale. The Hooked on Nicotine Checklist (HONC) was used to screen for dependence symptoms. All items of the YACD were extracted, except for items 4 (smoking to concentrate at work) and 18 (smoking as a habit), which yielded a three-factor solution (factor 1 = smoking patterns; factor 2 = positive and negative reinforcements; factor 3 = smoking cessation) with Eigenvalues > 1 (variance explained = 56.18%; KMO = 0.784; Bartlett’s sphericity test p < 0.001; α Cronbach = 0.875). The newly generated scale was termed Adolescent Cigarette Dependence Scale (ACDS) and consisted of 19 items. Higher ACDS scores (higher cigarette dependence) were significantly associated with higher HONC scores (higher symptoms of dependence) (rho = 0.647; p < 0.001). Having deceased ( B = 8.54) or divorced ( B = 4.26) parents and higher cumulative cigarette smoking ( B = 0.29) were significantly associated with higher ACDS scores. Higher cumulative cigarette smoking ( B = 0.05) was significantly associated with higher HONC scores due to cigarettes. This study could validate a new tool to evaluate nicotine dependence among Lebanese adolescents, the Adolescent Cigarette Dependence Scale (ACDS). This version adapted from the Young Adults’ Cigarette Dependence (YACD) Scale is reliable and valuable and correlates well with other scales, such as the HONC. However, further studies are necessary to improve this instrument, adding new questions useful for the diagnosis and evaluation of cigarette dependence.

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