Skip to main content

Teens Who Smoke Daily May Be Coping with Poor Health

Teens Who Smoke Daily May Be Coping with Poor Health

As fewer teens begin smoking for social reasons, those who continue to do so may be self-medicating for poor mental and physical health. In fact, today’s teens who smoke cigarettes on a daily basis are reporting greater health concerns than heavy smokers did in years past, according to a new study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

“Teens who smoke report significantly higher levels of health complaints than nonsmoking teens, and we found that this gap has widened over the years, even as the overall prevalence of teen smoking has dropped,” said Dr. Marc Braverman a professor, lead author and Extension specialist in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, who worked with collaborators in Norway.

“Some adolescents smoke as an attempt to cope with their health problems, and that subgroup may represent a growing proportion of teen smokers, as fewer teenagers are taking up smoking for social reasons.”

The researchers believe their study is the first to report the shifting relationship between daily smoking and health complaints in adolescence.

In most places around the world, far fewer people are smoking, which is very welcome news, said Braverman. But as smoking rates decline, helping the remaining smokers becomes much more challenging.

Some tobacco researchers believe that the remaining smokers tend to be more “hard-core” smokers, who have been smoking for a long time and either do not wish to quit or believe they would not be able to if they tried, he said.

“Many public health officials are asking what kinds of new strategies might be needed to reduce smoking prevalence, to say, the low single digits, and what kinds of resources that might require,” Braverman said. “Some smokers are more addicted to or dependent on cigarettes than others.”

Gaining a better understanding of the connection between health and smoking among teens will help public health officials deliver more helpful smoking cessation strategies for that age group, particularly those who smoke on a daily basis, Braverman said.

For the study, researchers evaluated data from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children Study, an international collaborative project sponsored by the World Health Organization that began in the 1980s and currently includes 43 countries. Surveys of 11-, 13-, and 15-year-olds are conducted every four years in participating countries.

The researchers looked at smoking behaviors and health problems among 15-year-olds in Norway over five waves of the survey, from 1993-94 to 2009-10. They focused on Norway in part because it has experienced dramatic declines in smoking rates over that time period, which helps reveal how smoking populations have changed, Braverman said.

As part of the survey, the students were asked about their smoking behavior and how often they experienced certain health problems such as headache, stomachache, backache, dizziness, irritability, nervousness, feeling “low”, and sleep difficulties.

In addition to the changes in health complaints over time, the researchers found important differences in health complaints related to gender. Girls, in general, reported more health complaints than boys, but the difference between the sexes was significantly larger among smoking teens than nonsmoking teens. In particular, girls who smoked daily reported higher levels of health complaints than any other subgroup, Braverman said.

While the data did not allow for an explanation for this finding, the study raises concerns that teen girls might be at especially high risk for health problems associated with smoking, he said.

If teens are smoking as a coping mechanism for physical or psychological problems, they may be at greater risk for dependence and addiction than their peers who are smoking because of peer or social influences, Braverman said.

“And for those teens who smoke to cope with health problems, getting them to stop will likely require different strategies and more intensive intervention efforts than those that are commonly used,” Braverman said. “A ‘stop smoking’ media campaign probably won’t be enough.”

Source: Oregon State University

 



from Psych Central News http://ift.tt/2aTFBrv
via IFTTT

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy.A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.”In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site.Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company.“Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote.The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D.Researchers meas…

Americans Are Getting A Little More Sleep

A new survey published in the journal Sleep finds that, on average, Americans are slowly but surely getting more shut-eye, even if it’s just a few minutes each week. The findings show that, overall, people seem to be turning in a little earlier and spending less time watching TV or reading just before bed.The research, based on the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), found that daily sleep duration increased by 1.4 minutes on weekdays and 0.8 minutes on weekends each year.At first glance, this may not seem like much progress. However, over the 14-year period it translates to 17.3 minutes more sleep each night, or 4.4 full days more sleep each year. Overall, these numbers amount to an extra 7.5 hours of sleep each year over the 14-year period. The survey involved 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older between 2003 and 2016.The study, conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is the first to show that sleep duration has increased among se…

Non-invasive imaging technique accurately detects skin cancer without surgical biopsy

Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering have developed a non-invasive imaging technique that accurately detects skin cancer without surgical biopsy.

from The Medical News http://ift.tt/2lJdEqF
via IFTTTBecome a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; http://ift.tt/2i70pBW and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.