Seeing others smoke encourages young people to smoke more

Young people who smoke each day light up more cigarettes if they see other young smokers. Anti-smoking campaigns wrongly ignore this implicit effect, says Dutch researcher Zeena Harakeh.

Harakeh investigated what encourages young aged 16 to 24 to light a cigarette. Her experiments revealed that this group mainly smokes more when in the company of a smoking peer. 'I call this implicit, passive influencing, as it happens without the other person actively offering a cigarette,' explains the from Utrecht University. Also young people who communicate with a peer online and see this person smoking will smoke more themselves. 'So the effect is there even when they do not smell the cigarette scent of the other.'

Campaigns

Harakeh discovered that actively offering had less effect on young smokers than was previously thought. 'It would seem that young people find it easier resist the temptation of a peer offering a cigarette than a peer who is smoking,' says Harakeh. Nevertheless she notes that in anti-smoking campaigns young people are mostly warned about the explicit, active influence. Harakeh: 'Prevention programmes completely ignore the passive, implicit influence. More attention should be paid to that.'

Based on her research, Harakeh believes a should be recommended on school playgrounds. 'That is the very place where hundreds of young people see each other smoke and imitate each other.' She also recommends that young smokers be no longer shown in anti-smoking campaigns. 'Merely the image of a young smoker might well cause another to light up a cigarette,' says the researcher.

The results of the research have been published online in the scientific journals and Tobacco Research and Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Avoid the hookah and save your teeth

Nov 08, 2005

Researchers say smoking a hookah is becoming increasingly trendy item in Mediterranean restaurants, cafes and bars -- but it can damage your teeth.

Self-identified social smokers less likely to try to quit

Jun 14, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Self-identified social smokers are less likely to try to quit and to avoid smoking for more than a month, according to a national study in the American Journal of Public Health conducted by professors at the ...

Recommended for you

Testosterone testing has increased in recent years

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—There has been a recent increase in the rate of testosterone testing, with more testing seen in men with comorbidities associated with hypogonadism, according to research published online Nov. ...

AMA: Hospital staff should consider impact of CMS rule

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—Hospital medical staff members need to consider the impact of a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that revised the conditions of participation for hospitals ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2012
Seeing others smoke encourages young people to smoke more


Doesn't anyone understand that nanny-ism paves the road for statism? No matter the benefit, real or perceived, the result is always the same, less liberty, more state control of free people's lives.

These costs far outweigh any possible benefit found in fewer smoking teens. Or smoking teens, that smoke less.
rawa1
5 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2012
Doesn't anyone understand that nanny-ism paves the road for statism?
You can use the incentives, for example - it's liberal solution: Are you smoker and before operations of lungs doctors found a tar in your lungs? OK, you'll pay more for this operation in the same ratio, in which the frequency of these operations correlates with the tar content in the lungs. Every enjoy,

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.