Teenagers And Smoking Essay Research Paper HOW

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Teenagers And Smoking Essay, Research Paper HOW SMOKING AFFECTS TEENAGERS Assessment smoking among teenagers is on the rise. Statistics have shown that smoking trends were decreasing between 1976 and 1985 by approximately 10%, but have started to climb since the early 1990’s (Lawrence 1999). Over the last decade, there has been more than a seventy- percent increase in youth smoking. The average age of onset of smoking is fourteen years old. Ninety percent of those who smoke began before the age of eighteen. (www.healthierohio.org.). Not all adolescents are at the same risk level to smoke. Studies have been done that demonstrate who is at more risk to smoke than others are, but adolescents of every race, socioeconomic, and sex are affected. Smoking rates are more than

doubled among white adolescents than African American adolescents are. “Children who are more committed to education, religion, and family are, in general, at lower risk for cigarette use” (Lawrence, 1999, p699). Smoking is not a disease, but it is an addiction that usually begins among high school students. An addiction is a compulsive psychological need for a habit-forming substance such as nicotine. There are eight major risk factors that contribute to adolescent smoking. The first one is the social influences (an environmental factor) in a teen’s life. There are two types of social influences, direct and indirect. The direct social influences are all of the effects that peers and family have on a youth smoking. Peers demonstrate to each other the ease of obtaining

cigarettes and the message that smoking is a normal and necessary aspect of the peer group. (Lamkin 1998). Parental influences regarding smoking has shown to “be a significant, general factor promoting youth smoking, even greater than peer smoking and socioeconomic status.” (Males, 1995, p228). The indirect social influences include the effects of the media and tobacco advertisers. They create a positive attitude related to smoking in adolescent’s minds. “Adolescents are more likely to believe information presented by sources when less certain about their own opinions.” (Lamkin, 1998, p129). Tobacco-industry documents show that they have been targeting youth as young as nine years old through their advertisements. The top three brands that are advertised the most to

target youth are Marlboro, Camel, and Newport. (www.healthierohio.org.) The next risk factor, psychological factors (environmental factor), consists of two parts. The first is depression or negative affect in adolescents. Depression is a risk factor because smoking helps an adolescent to deal with their emotions and feeling of stress. (Adolescents and Smoking 5) The second is self-efficacy. An adolescent’s level of self-efficacy determines whether coping behaviors will be used successfully in the face of obstacles. Therefore, by ensuring that an adolescent feels confident about himself to abstain from smoking would eliminate this risk factor. (Lamkin 1998). The race (host) of an adolescent as a predictor of smoking is more prevalent in some races more than others are. In the

MMWR (April 1998), it states that Caucasian high school students have a higher rate of use and risk versus Hispanic and Black students. Substantial increases in smoking have occurred over the last decade in all races, but especially among White students. (Lawrence 1999). “In a recent study, 80% of African-American parents said they have a “no smoking” rule in the home as compared to 48% of white parents” (www.healthierohio.org). The fourth risk factor of youth smoking is the sex (host) of the adolescent. Overall, females have greater risk of onset of smoking than males. This stays true throughout the races studied. There is a particular vulnerability to smoking especially among white female students, who consistently hold the highest rates among all of the groups studied.