WISE TEENS by M.L. Mason PhD
A Montreal study pinpoints the error associated with even smoking an occasional cigarette. More often than not, this kind of dabbling quickly leads to addiction. We used to think differently. We thought it took a smoker a habit of some duration before he/she was addicted.
A team of researchers headed by Dr. Jennifer O’Loughlin studied the formation of nicotine dependence amongst smokers in a cohort of 1,267 Grade 7 students in 10 Montreal high schools.
The good news is that 856 students had never smoked. The bad news is that a huge number of the smokers quickly lost their ability to control their smoking actions. As reported to the scientists, the following results are given.
Category Loss of Control Over Smoking
Sporadics (3 or less per week) 28%
Monthly (0-11 per week) 48%
Weekly (0-74 per week) 65%
Daily (4 to 121 per week) 93%
Symptoms of withdrawal were commonplace. These included nervousness, anxiety, feeling tense, inability to concentrate, all when the smokers went without smoking for a time. These perceived symptoms quickly led the victim into “self-medication” by smoking more and more often. What is so scary is that many students felt that way after only smoking a few times.
Only a fool in today’s world is not prepared to admit that smoking is a serious health hazard. So why do it at all? That makes sense, doesn’t it? Please DON’T experiment with tobacco.
Reference: Jennifer O’Loughlin et al. Nicotine-Dependence Symptoms Are Associated With Smoking Frequency in Adolescents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, October 2003, pp. 219-225
Reprinted with permission from Teensmag. Teensmag is a publication written by teens about alcohol and drug abuse education and prevention. The editor and publisher is Dr. Merv Mason, a psychologist with many years of experience in alcohol and drug-abuse education and prevention. This publication is a useful resource tool in helping to educate teens against the dangers of substance abuse. It has contributed an important part in drug awareness and prevention education over the past 17 years. It is distributed through corporate sponsorship to BC secondary schools, police detachments, the aboriginal community and substance abuse centres.
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or email www.youthinbc.com
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