Posts Tagged teen smoking

Hiding Cigarettes From Store Shelves Reduces Tobacco Use By Teenagers

A recent study suggests that the power of vision can help steer teenagers away from tobacco products.

menthol-cigarettesNon-profit group RAND Corporation revealed that hiding tobacco products from the sight of teens in convenience store shelves can significantly decrease the likelihood of adolescents in using cigarettes in the future. This was determined through a simulation of a convenience store replica to assess the impact of the missing tobacco products on 241 teenage participants.

The teens involved in the study visited one of three replica convenience stores — the first had its tobacco products displayed prominently on the “power wall: behind the cashier, the second placed its cigarette products near a sidewall, while the third one hid its tobacco items behind a screen. After the simulated store visit, the participants were given a survey questionnaire to ask about their likelihood of trying a cigarette.

The study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, showed that the susceptibility of teens to smoke in the future was reduced by 11 percent when the tobacco products were hidden from view. “These findings suggest limiting the visibility of tobacco displays in retail stores may reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes,” said RAND senior behavioral scientist William Shadel in a news release.

Results of the study could prove significant especially in the current market, where tobacco companies are starting to move away from traditional print advertising and into a more direct point-of-sale approach in selling their products.

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Substance Abuse Treatment Does Not Address Teen Smoking Problem, Says Study

Teen substance abuse continues to be a worldwide issue, affecting the lives of millions of families. Although treatment procedures are effective in pulling adolescents away from drugs and alcohol, a recent study suggests that this isn’t the case with teen smoking.

teen woman smokingThis was revealed by a research team from the University of Georgia, as they looked into 22 substance abuse centers in the U.S., and studied their treatment procedures for teenagers. Results showed that many of the treatment centers do not introduce smoking cessation to their patients.

Study lead author Jessica Muilenburg shared via a news release the reason behind the study. “[Tobacco] changes the chemistry of your brain and makes you crave whatever your drug of choice is, which is why kicking the tobacco habit with the rest of your addictions is important… It’s a drug, but it’s not treated in the same capacity and with the same urgency as other drugs. We are saying to treat it with the same urgency, because relapse is less likely if you treat the nicotine as well,” Muilenburg said.

Unfortunately, the researchers saw that most treatment centers don’t put much weight on tobacco smoking. “Their primary goal is getting them off of alcohol and other drugs, but if we can get them off of all drugs, including tobacco, it will be more beneficial for them in the future,” Muilenburg added.

Reports from the Department of Health and Human Services said that about 2.6 million teenagers are engaged in cigarette smoking.

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CDC Releases Data on Teenage Drug Use: Less Smoking, More Marijuana

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a statement saying that 30 percent of teenagers – regardless of ethnicity — engage in smoking cigarettes or marijuana. This was based on data comparing teenage smoking figures between 1997 and 2013.

teen smokingIn specific substances, the rate of smoking tobacco cigarettes in teenagers decreased from 20.5 percent to a little over 7 percent. While this may sound like good news, the figures for teen marijuana use isn’t pleasant. From only 4 percent of teenagers engaged in marijuana use in 1997, it has since shot up to 10 percent by 2013. In addition, the rate of teenagers smoking both cigarettes and marijuana has increased from 51 percent to 62 percent.

CDC Office on Smoking and Health director Dr. Tim McAfee emphasized the misinformation on marijuana as one of the probable causes behind this alarming figure. “Over the last 10 or 15 years, there has been a change in public perception of marijuana… There is the idea that marijuana is not something you need to worry about,” McAfee said in a news article.

Despite the increase in marijuana use, there is still reason to celebrate, particularly in terms of curbing cigarette use by teenagers. “This study reminds us that we know exactly what to do to further reduce smoking: increase tobacco taxes, enact smoke-free laws, fund effective prevention programs and implement hard-hitting mass media campaigns. These proven strategies must be continued and strengthened,” said Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids VP for communications Vince Willmore.

Details of the study were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by CDC.

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Teen Trends: More Marijuana Use, Less Alcohol Consumption

Here’s a bit of good and bad news: today’s teenagers use alcohol and cigarettes less, but are found to use marijuana increasingly.

teen alcohol use drinkingThis is according to a study conducted by Penn State’s The Methodology Center. Although the recent findings point to a successful campaign against tobacco, this may have caused the interest of adolescents to shift towards marijuana. “Our analysis shows that public health campaigns are working — fewer teens are smoking cigarettes… However, we were surprised to find the very clear message that kids are choosing marijuana over cigarettes,” said study co-author Stephanie Lanza in a news release.

The study looked into data from the project entitled Monitoring the Future, where close to 600,000 high school seniors from 1976 to 2013 were asked to participate in a survey. The questions were targeted towards checking the students’ use of three substances: alcohol, marijuana and tobacco.

Results showed a significant decrease in use of cigarettes, most notably in white adolescents. Marijuana, on the other hand, was used more as years went by, especially in black teenagers. Meanwhile, alcohol consumption by teenagers has steadily dipped over the years, with white teens drinking more than their black counterparts. A correlation was also noticed between marijuana and cigarette use, citing that those who smoked cigarettes were more likely to use marijuana than teenagers who did not use tobacco products.

Details of the study were published July 20 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Teenagers Who Use Social Media More Successful In Quitting Smoking

Are you concerned that your teens are finding it hard to quit smoking? Try letting them use a social media app designed to help them kick the habit.

social media teenagers smokingAccording to a study conducted by a team of scientists led by Bruce Baskerville of the University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, the social media campaign Break It Off was found to be more effective in helping users quit smoking, as compared to those who use more traditional methods such as a phone hotline. The study followed young adults between 19 and 29 years old, with some of them using Break It Off and the others made to use smoking cessation phone hotline Smokers’ Helpline.

A three-month monitoring revealed that 32 percent of Break It Off app users were able to quit smoking, which is significantly better than the 14 percent success rate of the phone hotline. “These finding suggest that the creators of public health campaigns need to evaluate how they use social media channels and social networks to improve health, especially with regards to younger demographics,” said Baskerville in a news item.

The research team said that a possible reason for this is the inclination of the current generation of users to social media and away from phone hotlines. “Because they are such heavy users of social media, these platforms provide an alternative and successful way of reaching smokers who are less likely to relate to other cessation programs,” Baskerville added.

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Doctors Miss Out On Teen Smoking Intervention

Doctors are supposed to be the vanguards of health, but a recent study reveals that only a few of them intervene when it comes to teen smoking.

teen smokingAccording to study author Gillian L. Schauer in her interview with Reuters Health, only 31 percent of adolescents in high school and middle school were advised by a healthcare professional to stop smoking. “Our results suggest that more than 6.6 million youth and adolescents who currently use tobacco or are at high risk for future smoking did not receive advice from their health care provider to quit or avoid tobacco,” Schauer said.

The study involved a survey of more than 18,000 teenagers all around the U.S. to ask them about tobacco usage and any discussions with health professionals about smoking. The results showed that while more than 70 percent of the kids have not tried smoking, 11 percent admitted to have smoked tobacco. Unfortunately, while majority of them were able to visit the doctor within the year, less than a third were given advice against smoking.

What’s more unfortunate is that only 32 percent of the kids surveyed said that a doctor or nurse asked them about smoking. “Young people often underestimate the addictive potential of nicotine, and 9 out of 10 adults who smoke started before age 18, making anti-smoking and anti-tobacco messages delivered by a health care provider an important intervention for youth,” Schauer stressed. “Given that tobacco is still the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., it is surprising that more clinicians are not intervening with adolescent patients to help them avoid or quit tobacco.”

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