Research shows ‘cool’ kids are likely to smoke
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/26/2012 -- It appears that despite parental and health official’s hopes to persuade kids to the opposite, smoking does make you cool.
Recent research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that popular kids in high schools are most likely to smoke tobacco.
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of Texas, focusing primarily on white and Hispanic students in Southern California high schools.
Researchers asked questions to determine who in the high schools smoked and then attempt to gauge their popularity. Ninth- and tenth-grade students were asked if and how frequently they smoked. They were then asked if their friends smoked and how they felt about that fact. Popularity was measured by the number of times a student was mentioned as being one of the five noted “best friends” of the student.
The results showed that teens who were most popular were also most likely smokers.
Over $641 million dollars was spent in 2011 on tobacco prevention efforts that target young adults and children. While adult smoking rates have decreased over the last two decades, the trend does not follow to children.
The results showed that students who thought their friends smoked were more likely to do so themselves. The trend can be contributed to wanting to fit in, a longstanding reaction among schoolchildren.
The American Lung Association reports that nearly 4,000 children will try a cigarette daily. One-fourth of those children are likely to become regular smokers.
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