Piece by Piece: Making Health Connections

Health Habits Q&A

Why are you conducting this study?

The goal of the study is to understand how smoking and not smoking fits into the daily lives of young adults.  We also want to learn about the many factors that may influence young adults’ attitudes towards and experiences with cigarette smoking.  Why is it that some young adults have never smoked?  Why do some people who started smoking as teenagers continue smoking into adulthood, whereas others quit?  How do other health habits relate to cigarette smoking?  With the information gathered from this study, we hope to develop more effective smoking prevention, stop smoking, and general health programs or young adults.

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How are individuals selected for participation?

We plan to invite all the young adults who participated in this study starting during their high school years.  For this study we are not recruiting new participants. 

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How many young adults will be participating?

Approximately 1200 young adults will participate.


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How much will I be paid for participating?

Yes. You will be paid for completing each questionnaire and interview with the possibility of earning an added incentive for timely participation in study visits. 

  • You will be asked to complete one questionnaire and one interview per year for the next three years. You will receive a $40 incentive payment for completing the first questionnaire and interview, $50 for the second questionnaire and interview (one year from now), and $50 for the third questionnaire and interview (two years from now).
  • If you complete your first scheduled study visit on time, you will receive an additional $10. If you cannot make your first scheduled study visit but call to reschedule 24-hours before the appointment, you are still eligible to receive the additional $10. If you are participating by mail and phone, you will receive an additional $10 if you complete and return your study materials within three weeks.
  • You will be reimbursed for your participation after each part of the study is completed.
  • If you participate in person, you will receive your incentive payments in cash at the end of your visit. If you participate by mail and phone, you will receive your incentive payments by check approximately four to six weeks after your appointment.
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Who will have access to individual responses on questionnaires and interviews?

Responses to the questionnaires and interviews are kept completely confidential. All completed questionnaires and interviews are stored in locked storage.  Only authorized project staff have access to them.  In addition, we issue ID numbers to mark these materials instead of using participants’ names.  The only people who can match the names to the ID numbers are authorized members of our research team.  No one else will be able to connect an individual participant with his/her responses on the questionnaires or interviews.

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What if I don't want to participate anymore?

You can stop at any time, but you will only be paid for the parts of the study that you have completed.

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What if I move away from Chicago? May I still participate?

Yes. You can continue being involved in the study even if you move away from the Chicago Metropolitan area.  If you moved outside of the Chicago Metropolitan area and are not planning to return over the next year, you can continue the Health Habits questionnaire by mail and complete the brief interview over the phone.  Upon completion of your questionnaire and interview, we will mail you a check.

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Can I be sent the results of this study when the study is finished?

Yes, if you request the results, we will provide copies of our major findings after the data are analyzed. Information will be compiled for the entire study group—no individual information will ever be shared.

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