this epidemiological study of a sample of smokers from the general population of colombia examined the population distribution and dimensionality of eight hypothesized inter-correlated clinical features (cfs) associated with tobacco dependence syndrome (tds). data were drawn from interviews of 4 426 smokers conducted in a national survey in colombia as part of the world mental health survey initiative. daily smokers completed a spanish-language tds module, and the 237 smokers who had begun smoking during the five years prior to the assessment were selected. confirmatory factor analysis (cfa) for a unidimensional tds provided discrimination and difficulty parameter estimates. two cfs that were reported very infrequently among the study sample were dropped from the cfa. among the six remaining cfs, discrimination (d1) estimates ranged from 1.1 to 6.0 and difficulty (d2) estimates ranged from 1.1 to 2.2, providing evidentiary support for a unidimensional tobacco dependence construct. the spanish-language tds module used in this study could serve as a valuable tool in future studies for evaluating public health outreach and early intervention programs directed toward community residents who have begun smoking tobacco.