Evidence suggests that individuals who initiate smoking at younger ages are at increased risk for future tobacco dependence and continued use as well as for numerous smoking-attributable health problems. Identifying individual, household, and to a far lesser extent, contextual factors that predict early cigarette use has garnered considerable attention over the last several decades. However, the majority of scholarship in this area has been cross-sectional or conducted over relatively short windows of observation. Few studies have investigated the effects of more prolonged exposure to smoking-related risk factors, particularly neighborhood characteristics, from childhood through early adulthood. Using the 1970-2011 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics merged with census data on respondents' neighborhoods, this study estimates a series of race-specific discrete-time marginal structural logit models for the risk of smoking initiation as a function of neighborhood poverty, as well as individual and household characteristics, from ages four through 25. Neighborhood selection bias is addressed using inverse-probability-of-treatment weights. Results indicate that more prolonged exposure to high (>20%) as opposed to low (<10%) poverty neighborhoods is associated with an increased risk of smoking onset by age 25, although consistent with prior literature, this effect is only evident among white and not nonwhite youth and young adults.