A recent study published in the May issue of the Archives of Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine revealed some interesting facts about the motivation of teens to smoke. According to the study, teens perceive that smokers are rich and successful people. Additionally, the study found that teenagers that perceived strong disapproval from thier parents over the issue of smoking were less likely to smoke in the future. The study focused on a group of 1,138 high school students from a public school outside of Pittsburgh with a mean age of 15.9, of which 90.2% were white. The ulimate goal of the study was two fold, to explain teen perceptions about smoking to parents and to encourage parents to express thier disapproval of smoking. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the study:
Those who believe that their parents disapprove of smoking are less likely to smoke, and the stronger the disapproval they sense, the less likely they are do it, Brian A. Primack, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported in the May issue of the Archives of Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine.
In a cross-sectional survey of current smoking and susceptibility to smoking, the researchers studied 1,138 high school students. Of these, 216 (19.0%) reported current smoking, and 342 (38.3%) of 893 nonsmoking students were at risk for future smoking.
The students were recruited from a public high school outside Pittsburgh. Their mean age was 15.9; 47.2% were male, and 90.2% were white.
Factor analysis for the study identified three normative beliefs, labeled “perceived prevalence of smoking,” “perceived popularity of smoking among elite and successful elements of society,” and “disapproval of smoking by parents and peers.”
On average, students believed that 56% of people in the U.S. smoke cigarettes at least once a month, and that 48% of high school seniors do so. Actually, 22.3% of the U.S. population smokes at least once a month, and 21.9% of high school seniors do, the researchers reported.