Some children consider smoking a rite of passage into adolescence. According to Tobacco Facts most teenage smoking starts early. Among the statistics cited at Tobacco Facts are the following:
Each day 3,000 children smoke their first cigarette.
Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, typically by age 16.
At least 3 million adolescents are smokers.
20 percent of American teens smoke.
Almost all first use occurs before high school graduation.
Roughly 6 million teens in the US today smoke despite the knowledge that it is addictive and leads to disease.
Of the 3,000 teens who started smoking today, nearly 1,000 will eventually die as a result from smoking.
Of every 100,000 15 year old smokers, tobacco will prematurely kill at least 20,000 before the age of 70.
Adolescent girls who smoke and take oral birth control pills greatly increase their chances of having blood clots and strokes.
According to the Surgeon’s General, Teenagers who smoke were:
* Three times more likely to use alcohol.
* Eight times are likely to smoke marijuana.
* And 22 times more likely to use Cocaine.
Although only 5 percent of high school smokers said that they would definitely be smoking five years later, close to 75 percent were still smoking 7 to 9 years later.
Kids who smoke experience changes in the lungs and reduced lung growth, and they risk not achieving normal lung function as an adult.
A person who starts smoking at age 13 will have a more difficult time quitting, has more health-related problems and probably will die earlier than a person who begins to smoke at age 21.
Kids who smoke have significant health problems, including cough and phlegm production, decreased physical fitness and unfavorable lipid profile.
If your child’s best friends smoke, then your youngster is 13 times more likely to smoke than if his or her friends did not smoke.
Adolescents who have two parents who smoke are more than twice as likely as youth without smoking parents to become smokers.
More than 90 percent of adult smokers started when they were teens. http://www.tobacco-facts.net/smoking-facts/teen-smoking-facts
It is important to prevent teens from beginning to smoke because of health issues and the difficulty many smokers have in quitting the habit.
Why Do Teens Smoke?
Denise Witmer at About.Com lists the reasons teens smoke:
According to the World Health Organization ‘between 80,000 and 100,000 children worldwide start smoking every day.’ Here are some of the reasons why teens start smoking:
• One or both parents smoke.
• People they admire smoke.
• Teens find acceptance by peers if they smoke too.
• Mass media campaign for smoking works on teenagers and adults.
• Teens feel invincible or that they can stop at anytime. So why not try it?
• It helps the teen lose weight, reduce stress, etc.
• Smoking’s biggest draw is that it is an adult activity that is forbidden http://parentingteens.about.com/od/tobaccouse/f/teen_smoking4.htm
Lauren Pappa writing in Junior Scholastic quotes Danny Mc Goldrick who cites peer pressure as the most important reason kids start to smoke.
Peer pressure is one of the biggest factors in youth smoking, says Danny McGoldrick, research director for Tobacco-Free Kids. Smoking, McGoldrick told JS, is a way for kids “to belong and rebel [against parents] at the same time.” http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Why+do+teens+smoke%3F+Despite+the+risks,+many+kids+are+still+lighting+…-a0139430444
This pressure exerted by peers and culture can be countered by the active involvement of parents and guardians. E-cigarettes are viewed by some as a possible tool to help kick the smoking habit.
Sabrina Tavernise reported in the New York Times article, Young Using E-Cigarettes Smoke Too, Study Finds:
Middle and high school students who used electronic cigarettes were more likely to smoke real cigarettes and less likely to quit than students who did not use the devices, a new study has found. They were also more likely to smoke heavily. But experts are divided about what the findings mean.
The study’s lead author, Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who has been critical of the devices, said the results suggested that the use of e-cigarettes was leading to less quitting, not more….
But other experts said the data did not support that interpretation. They said that just because e-cigarettes are being used by youths who smoke more and have a harder time quitting does not mean that the devices themselves are the cause of those problems. It is just as possible, they said, that young people who use the devices were heavier smokers to begin with, or would have become heavy smokers anyway.
“The data in this study do not allow many of the broad conclusions that it draws,” said Thomas J. Glynn, a researcher at the American Cancer Society.
The study is likely to stir the debate further over what electronic cigarettes mean for the nation’s 45 million smokers, about three million of whom are middle and high school students. Some experts worry that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking real cigarettes for young people, though most say the data is too skimpy to settle the issue. Others hope the devices could be a path to quitting.
So far, the overwhelming majority of young people who use e-cigarettes also smoke real cigarettes, a large federal survey published last year found.
Still, while e-cigarette use among youths doubled from 2011 to 2012, regular cigarette smoking for youths has continued to decline. The rate hit a record low in 2013 of 9.6 percent, down by two-thirds from its peak in 1997.
The new study drew on broad federal survey data from more than 17,000 middle school and high school students in 2011 and more than 22,000 in 2012. But instead of following the same students over time — which many experts say is crucial to determine whether there has been a progression from e-cigarettes to actual smoking — the study examined two different groups of students, essentially creating two snapshots.
Dr. Glantz says that his findings show that use of e-cigarettes can predict who will go on to become an established smoker. Students who said they had experimented with cigarettes — that is, taken at least one puff — were much more likely to become established smokers if they also used e-cigarettes, he said….
But David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the Legacy Foundation, an antismoking research group, said the study’s data do not support that conclusion….
He argued that there were many possible reasons that students who experimented with e-cigarettes were also heavier smokers — for example, living in a home where people smoke, belonging to a social circle where smoking is more common, or abusing drugs or alcohol.
The study did have a bright spot: Youths who used e-cigarettes were more likely to plan to quit smoking. Dr. Abrams highlighted that finding, but said it was impossible to tell whether students who planned to quit actually did, because the data did not track this. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/health/young-users-of-e-cigarettes-less-likely-to-quit-smoking-study-finds.html?hpw&rref=health&_r=0&referrer=
Electronic Cigarettes and Conventional Cigarette Use Among US AdolescentsA Cross-sectional StudyONLINE FIRST
Lauren M. Dutra, ScD1; Stanton A. Glantz, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
JAMA Pediatr. Published online March 06, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5488
Text Size: A A A
ABSTRACT | METHODS | RESULTS | DISCUSSION | CONCLUSIONS | ARTICLE INFORMATION | REFERENCES
Importance Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is increasing rapidly among adolescents, and e-cigarettes are currently unregulated.
Objective To examine e-cigarette use and conventional cigarette smoking.
Design, Setting, and Participants Cross-sectional analyses of survey data from a representative sample of US middle and high school students in 2011 (n = 17 353) and 2012 (n = 22 529) who completed the 2011 and 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
Exposures Ever and current e-cigarette use.
Main Outcomes and Measures Experimentation with, ever, and current smoking, and smoking abstinence.
Results Among cigarette experimenters (≥1 puff), ever e-cigarette use was associated with higher odds of ever smoking cigarettes (≥100 cigarettes; odds ratio [OR] = 6.31; 95% CI, 5.39-7.39) and current cigarette smoking (OR = 5.96; 95% CI, 5.67-6.27). Current e-cigarette use was positively associated with ever smoking cigarettes (OR = 7.42; 95% CI, 5.63-9.79) and current cigarette smoking (OR = 7.88; 95% CI, 6.01-10.32). In 2011, current cigarette smokers who had ever used e-cigarettes were more likely to intend to quit smoking within the next year (OR = 1.53; 95% CI, 1.03-2.28). Among experimenters with conventional cigarettes, ever use of e-cigarettes was associated with lower 30-day (OR = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.21-0.28), 6-month (OR = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.21-0.28), and 1-year (OR = 0.25; 95% CI, 0.21-0.30) abstinence from cigarettes. Current e-cigarette use was also associated with lower 30-day (OR = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.08-0.15), 6-month (OR = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.08-0.15), and 1-year (OR = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.07-0.18) abstinence. Among ever smokers of cigarettes (≥100 cigarettes), ever e-cigarette use was negatively associated with 30-day (OR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.42-0.89), 6-month (OR = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33-0.83), and 1-year (OR = 0.32; 95% CI, 0.18-0.56) abstinence from conventional cigarettes. Current e-cigarette use was also negatively associated with 30-day (OR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.18-0.69), 6-month (OR = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.13-0.68), and 1-year (OR = 0.34; 95% CI, 0.13-0.87) abstinence.
Conclusions and Relevance Use of e-cigarettes was associated with higher odds of ever or current cigarette smoking, higher odds of established smoking, higher odds of planning to quit smoking among current smokers, and, among experimenters, lower odds of abstinence from conventional cigarettes. Use of e-cigarettes does not discourage, and may encourage, conventional cigarette use among US adolescents.
Science Daily reported about a Swedish Study which showed that parents are influential in their child’s decision whether to smoke.
Teenagers are more positive today towards their parents’ attempts to discourage them from smoking, regardless of whether or not they smoked, than in the past. The most effective actions parents could take include dissuading their children from smoking, not smoking themselves and not allowing their children to smoke at home. Younger children were more positive about these approaches than older children. Levels of smoking amongst participants were stable at 8% in 1987 and 1994, but halved in 2003. The decrease in the proportion of teenagers smoking is thought to result from a number of factors, including changes in legislation and the decreasing social acceptability of smoking….http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303193956.htm
Another study reported by Reuters came to a similar conclusion that parents influence the decision whether to smoke http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/26/us-smoking-teens-idUSTRE57P43R20090826 The Mayo Clinic has some excellent tips on preventing your teen from smoking http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teen-smoking/art-20047069
As with a lot of issues adolescents face, it is important for parents and guardians to know what is going on in their children’s lives. You should know who your children’s friends are and how these friends feel about smoking, drugs, and issues like sex. You should also know how the parents of your children’s friends feel about these issues. Do they smoke, for example, or are they permissive in allowing their children to use alcohol and/or other drugs. Are these values in accord with your values?
A Tool to Quit Smoking Has Some Unlikely Critics http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/science/e-cigarettes-help-smokers-quit-but-they-have-some-unlikely-critics.html
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