Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why do young adults start smoking?

Date:
September 17, 2013
Source:
Universite de Montreal
Summary:
The risk of becoming a smoker among young adults who have never smoked is high: 14% will become smokers between the ages of 18 and 24, and three factors predict this behaviour.

The risk of becoming a smoker among young adults who have never smoked is high: 14% will become smokers between the ages of 18 and 24, and three factors predict this behaviour. “Smoking initiation also occurs among young adults, and in particular among those who are impulsive, have poor grades, or who use alcohol regularly,” said Jennifer O'Loughlin, a Professor at the University of Montreal School of Public Health (ESPUM) and author of a Journal of Adolescent Health study published in August. O’Loughlin believes smoking prevention campaigns should also target young adults aged 18 to 24.'

A recent phenomenon
With smoking rates declining markedly in the past three decades, the researchers cited several studies suggesting that the tobacco industry is increasing its efforts to appeal to young adults.

In the United States, there is a 50% increase in the number of young adults who start smoking after high school.

This trend prompted O’Loughlin and her team at the ESPUM to identify predictors of young adults starting to smoke which may lead to avenues for prevention.

They analyzed data from a cohort study called “NDIT” (Nicotine Dependence in Teens), which began in 1999 in the Greater Montreal Area, in which nearly 1,300 young people aged 12-13 took part.

In this cohort, fully 75% tried smoking. Of these young people, 44% began smoking before high school; 43% began smoking during high school, and 14% began after high school.

Not all, however, continued smoking, but among the “late” smokers, the researchers found that smoking onset is associated with three risk factors: high levels of impulsivity, poor school performance, and higher alcohol consumption.

Explaining the three risk factors
Some late smokers showed greater impulsivity compared to the other participants in the study. According to O’Loughlin, it is possible that impulsivity is more freely expressed when one becomes an adult, since parents are no longer there to exert control. “We can postulate that parents of impulsive children exercise tighter control when they are living with them at home to protect their children from adopting behaviours that can lead to smoking, and this protection may diminish over time,” she explains.

In addition, school difficulties increase the risk of becoming a smoker because they are related to dropping out of school and, seeking employment in workplaces where smoking rates are higher.

Finally, since young people are more likely to frequent places where they can consume alcohol, they are more prone to be influenced by smokers, or at least be more easily tempted. “Since alcohol reduces inhibitions and self-control, it is an important risk factor for beginning to smoke,” warns O’Loughlin.

Toward targeted prevention campaigns
Smoking prevention campaigns usually target teenagers because studies show that people usually begin to smoke at age of 12 or 13. The phenomenon is well known, and numerous prevention programs are geared toward teenagers.

“Our study indicates that it is also important to address prevention among young adults, especially because advertizing campaigns of tobacco companies specifically target this group," says O'Loughlin.

“This is particularly important because if we can prevent smoking onset among young adults, the likelihood that they will never become smokers is high," she says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universite de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer L. O'Loughlin, Erika N. Dugas, Erin K. O'Loughlin, Igor Karp, Marie-Pierre Sylvestre. Incidence and Determinants of Cigarette Smoking Initiation in Young Adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.009

Cite This Page:

Universite de Montreal. "Why do young adults start smoking?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917085604.htm>.
Universite de Montreal. (2013, September 17). Why do young adults start smoking?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917085604.htm
Universite de Montreal. "Why do young adults start smoking?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917085604.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins