Smoking Too Young: Students' Decisions About Tobacco Use

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Abstract

Purpose

To describe college students' decisions related to tobacco use.

Study Design and Methods

A sample of 49 smokers and 51 nonsmokers were asked about the smoking continuum of starting smoking, continuing to smoke, and tobacco cessation. An investigator-developed questionnaire was used to determine tobacco use and whether prevention and cessation messages were perceived as effective. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative descriptive analysis.

Results

Peer pressure was the greatest influencing factor for beginning to smoke, and health was the major reason for not beginning to smoke. Addiction and stress maintained smoking. Both smokers and nonsmokers identified cessation strategies.

Clinical Implications

Every interaction with youth is another opportunity to assess smoking status. Recommendations from teens for cessation programs identified in this study may be more attractive to teens and young adults than the current standards related to strategies for adults.

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