The present study addresses the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model's processes of change in explaining adolescents' readiness to quit smoking. Furthermore, the association between nicotine dependence and readiness to quit was assessed both directly, as well as indirectly through the processes of change. A cross-sectional survey was conducted, identifying 1547 weekly smokers aged 14-18 years. Structural equation modelling showed that the processes of change were only marginally associated with readiness to quit. Adding nicotine dependence to the model showed a direct association between nicotine dependence and readiness to quit. Only one process of change, self-liberation (i.e. choice/commitment to change and belief in the ability to change), was found to mediate this association. Nicotine dependence appeared to be highly important in adolescents' readiness to quit.