• Teens like to act as if they are someone special or dangerous.
• get attention because the initiation of smoking is influenced by having a friend, particularly a best friend, who smokes.
• cool and attractive
• believes that smoking can reduce stress level
• teens attitude of "giving-a-try"
Teen smoking had been on a sharp decline since the mid-late 1990's, but recent data shows that the adolescent smoking rates are rising slightly.
According to a 2005 study done by the CDC, 23% of high school students reported smoking cigarettes in the last month. This is compared with a previous study of high school students that showed 21.9% in 2003. While this data is somewhat discouraging it is far better than the 1997 level of the same survey at 36.4%. The rise appears to be greatest among white and Hispanic teens while the rates of teen smoking declined among black teens.
There is no concrete evidence at this time to show why the teen smoking statistics have declined since 1997, but some believe it is in better awareness efforts. Some also feel that it is due to a decline in media glamorizing smoking.
The CDC study showed that 80% of smokers begin before the age of 18. A similar study which was published by the American Lung Association website shows 90% of smokers begin before the age of 21.
A study that was done by the CDC also found some interesting facts and estimates:
1. About 3,900 teens under 18 start smoking each day.
2. Of the 3,900 teens that start smoking each day - 1500 will become regular smokers.
3. Those who smoke often have secondary behavioral issues such as violence, drug/alcohol use, and high-risk sexual behavior.
Some of the contributing factors of teenage smoking are:
1. Low socioeconomic status
2. Use or approval of smoking by siblings/peers
3. Smoking by parents
4. Availability and price of tobacco
5. Lack of parent support / involvement