Teenage Smoking Behavior Influenced by Friends’ and Parents’ Smoking Habits

The company you keep in junior high school may have more influence on your smoking behavior than your high school friends, according to newly published research from the University of Southern California (USC).

The study, which appears in the April 12 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, identifies how friends’ and parental influence on cigarette smoking changes from junior high to high school.

The research indicates that intervention targets to counteract friends’ influence may have more of an effect in junior high than in high school, and that parents remain influential on smoking behavior through high school, indicating another possible intervention target, the researchers said.

“Based on social developmental model research, we thought friends would have more influence on cigarette use during high school than junior high school,” said first author Yue Liao, M.P.H., Ph.D., a student in the department of preventive medicine’s Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “But what we found was friends have greater influence during junior high school than high school. We think the reason may be that friends’ cigarette use behavior may have a stronger influence on youth who start smoking at a younger age. During high school, cigarette use might represent the maintenance of behavior rather than a result of peer influence.”

Full story of smoking influences at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

This is your brain on smoking

Your Health on SmokingThat cigarette may be doing more damage than meets the eye. If you’ve been smoking for an extended period of time, you’re likely familiar with at least some – if not all – of the bodily symptoms associated with smoking, including but certainly not limited to: Cravings, coughing, shortness of breath and changes to teeth, hair and skin. Coronary heart disease and/or lung cancer might not be far behind.

But a new study published in the journal Age & Ageing concludes that smoking can damage your mind, too. A consistent association was observed between smoking and lower cognitive functioning, including memory.

The bottom line: Smoking and long-term high blood pressure appear to increase the risk of cognitive decline.

How researchers did it

Researchers at Kings College London set out to explore the association between cardiovascular and stroke risk and cognitive decline in adults over the age of 50. Working with a nationally representative sample of nearly 9,000 participants, the study’s authors analyzed data on smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body mass index (BMI).

Full story of smoking health at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies to Pay for Corrective Statements About Smoking

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies For Information ReleaseA federal judge has ordered tobacco companies to pay for corrective statements that disclose the dangers of smoking, the Associated Press reports. Judge Gladys Kessler, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, said the corrective ads must state that a federal court has concluded the companies “deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking.” The ads must also state that smoking causes the death on average of 1,200 people a day.

In 2006, Judge Kessler ruled that Big Tobacco firms engaged in racketeering, and were likely to do so again in the future. She ordered tobacco companies to stop using terms like “light” and “low tar” to market cigarettes. She said she wanted the tobacco industry to pay for print and broadcast ads, but did not say what corrective statements must be included in them.

Tuesday’s ruling is the first time she stated what the ads will say, the article notes.

In July, a federal appeals court upheld Judge Kessler’s order that requires tobacco manufacturers to run the corrective ads. The manufacturers hoped the court would overturn her order on the grounds it had been superseded by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

Full story of orders on the tobacco companies at DrugFree.org

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Many Teen Hookah Smokers Don’t Recognize Health Risk

Hookah Effects on your HealthMany teenage hookah smokers do not recognize that the practice carries serious health risks, suggests a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 18.5 percent of 12th graders said they used a hookah in the previous year.

More needs to be done to decrease the number of teens who smoke flavored tobacco from hookahs, the CDC states in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. The report notes hookah smoke contains many of the same toxins as cigarettes. It has been associated with lung cancer and respiratory illness, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The researchers conclude the same interventions used in reducing cigarette smoking can be successfully used to reduce hookah smoking. These include raising the price of flavored tobacco smoked from hookahs, called shisha. They point out the price for a pound of hookah pipe tobacco is $22 lower than that for cigarette tobacco.

Full story on hookahs and health at DrugFree.org

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Almost 30 Percent of Teen Boys Use Some Form of Tobacco, CDC Study Finds

Teen Boys Tobacco Use at 30 PercentAlmost 30 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls in middle and high school used some type of tobacco last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday. The rate of teen tobacco use has been slowly declining over the past decade.

The CDC report found 23.2 percent of high school students and 7.1 percent of middle school students used some form of tobacco, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The CDC findings come from a national survey of almost 19,000 students. The report notes that among middle school students, current cigarette use declined from 10.7 percent in 2000 to 4.3 percent in 2011. Among high school students, current cigarette use decreased from 27.9 percent to 15.8 percent during that period.

Full story of teen boys tobacco use at DrugFree.org

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/