Thursday, October 3, 2019

Tobacco Use Among Teenagers Essay Example for Free

Tobacco Use Among Teenagers Essay In the United States, tobacco use or cigarette smoking has been identified as the leading cause of preventable death.   Almost half a million deaths annually have been associated to cigarette smoking.   The prevalence of tobacco use by adolescents has intensified in the 1990s, with the highest rates during 1996 to 1997 and then decreased thereafter (CDC, 1998).   If the pattern of tobacco use early on during adolescence ensues, this will result in around 5 million minors who will mature into adults that will experience smoking-related illness in the future.    Medical expenses related to tobacco use have been estimated to cost approximately $50 to $73 billion annually.   Such estimates have alarmed the healthcare agencies that they have created comprehensive smoking prevention programs to lessen smoking among adolescents.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The topic of tobacco use among teenagers is related to the goals of Healthy People 2010, which is a comprehensive collection of disease prevention and health education programs that was established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.   Healthy People 2010 was created by researchers and scientists to address the current issues in public health.   The two main objectives of Healthy People 2010 is to improve the quality of life of the residents of the United States, which will result in the prolongation of life expectancy, and to prevent any differences that are observed and reported with regards to different subgroups within the U.S. population.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Massive anti-smoking campaign efforts were earlier initiated in order to deflect young and curious teenagers from using tobacco.   These efforts included outright health warnings regarding the serious effects of smoking that are attached to every pack of cigarettes.   There was also the aggressive campaign to enhance distaste towards smokers, convincing the rest of the society that smoking is not a good habit for members of the society, especially if the stench and stains of cigarette smoking will be physically attached to the smoker after a couple of months. In addition, legislation has required that a young-looking buyer should present his identification card in order to prove that he is at least 18 years old before he is allowed to buy cigarettes from a vendor.   Any vendor who is caught selling cigarettes to a minor has been warned that he could be penalized for providing addictive items to a minor.   Unfortunately, all these efforts in dissuading the youth from tobacco use was unsuccessful, as shown in the increase in smoking cases among teenagers as well as admittance to tobacco use amidst all these smoking prevention efforts.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Recent research surveys have determined that a generic smoking prevention program is not as effective as it was thought to be because each state and each school showed a different type of setting that strongly influences a typical adolescent to succumb to the pressure and lure of cigarette smoking.   Variations in the factors that influence an adolescent to smoke are present at the levels of the country, state, school, and individual (Lotrean et al., 2006).   In addition, the society and environment wherein the adolescent is situated also varies within the United States.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   In terms of school-setting influence on tobacco use, research surveys show that smoking is strongly correlated with poor connection with peers at school.   This includes the loss of feeling of being a member of a group in school or the simple sensation of belonging to the school society.   Tobacco use among adolescents is also strongly connected to a lack of discipline in the school, which is actually a responsibility of the teacher.   The lack of discipline is thus a result of an inadequacy in the involvement of the teachers with the adolescent students.   It has also been observed that different schools follow a full ban on cigarette smoking within the school grounds, while other schools implement a partial ban. Unfortunately, there are also schools that do not have smoking bans.   Schools often have school policies that specifically indicate that when a student of the school is caught smoking cigarettes within the school premises, a corresponding school action will be given to the student.   Research indicates that schools that have established strict school policies show a significantly lower rate of tobacco use than schools that do not included any policy on tobacco use within the school’s premises.   Another factor that influences teenage students to smoke originates from the school environment is the exposure of students to teachers who smoke within school premises.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   There are also specific gender-related factors that persuade teenagers to use tobacco.   In an independent study, it was observed that female teenagers are more vulnerable to social pressure at school than male teenagers (Barnett et al., 2007).   The same trend in tobacco use is observed when a female adolescent is living in a single-parent home environment, much different from the observations reported from a male teenager who is residing in a single-parent home environment.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Social interactions existing around the teenager also induces them to use tobacco.   In a cross-sectional investigation among middle school students, it was reported that there is a positive correlation between tobacco use and alcohol consumption among teenagers (Fisher et al., 2007).   Interestingly, it was observed that the presence of family activities, especially family dinners, serve as a protection for teenagers from initiating use of alcohol and tobacco.   The only limitation to such observation was that the preventive effect of family dinners is only effective during the pre-contemplative stage of smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.    Once the adolescent has started smoking or drinking, the efforts of setting up family dinners as prevention or protection schemes has been determined to be ineffective.   The role of the family, in terms of social interaction and frequency of present to the adolescent, thus strongly influences any decisions that he may make.   The opposite scheme is observed among adolescents who rarely or seldom have family dinners together.   It was estimated that these individuals were 50% more likely to use tobacco and drink alcohol. Thus, social interactions within the family members offer an excellent venue for communication between the adolescent and his parents which in turn provide an impact on the behavior of the teenager.   The single-parent environment of an adolescent also shows a greater risk of using tobacco.   This influence is further complicated when the teenager involved is female.   The occurrence of other members of the family smoking at home also influences a teenager to consider and actually follow suit in smoking (Phillips et al., 2007).   Aside from that, even if the teenager does not decide to smoke, his exposure to secondhand smoke subjects him to the same or even worse condition in terms of the harmful effects of tobacco on human health.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Another factor that influences use of tobacco among teenagers is the improper application of knowledge or information to actual life choices.   In a research survey involving adolescents and their corresponding parents, it was determined that approximately 85% of the youth respondents and their parents admitted that they knew that tobacco use was harmful to their health (Lubman et al., 2007). The figures of this report were quite encouraging, because both the young and adult respondents showed that they were aware of the associated health implications of smoking cigarettes.   However, it was also discouraging to read that the report described a striking opposite result with the rates of tobacco use in the same surveyed population, indicating that this population was not capable of translating the information regarding tobacco use and health into actual behavioral output.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The media also has an influence on the use of tobacco among adolescents.   Research has described that adolescents who view movies that include a teenager character smoking induces the adolescent viewer to follow suit in a dose-response relation (Sargent et al., 2007).   The effect of media on teenage tobacco use is categorically different from the effect of the immediate environment where an adolescent is located.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Given the abovementioned factors that influence tobacco use among teenagers, it is thus ideal to design and implement a smoking prevention program that is based on the actual conditions of a community where susceptible teenagers are situated.   An exemplary effort is spearheaded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which has proposed that each state create smoking prevention programs to lessen the frequency of smoking among adolescents.   Research surveys have been conducted to identify factors that influence youth in considering the use of tobacco as part of their young lives.   The Youth Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation System was established by the CDC to conduct surveys of middle and high school students at the state, national and international levels.   The system is comprised of two parts, the National Youth Tobacco Survey and the state-level Youth Tobacco Surveys.   Both surveys were designed to offer smoking prevention programs nationwide.    Each program is distinct for each state and country, depending on what has been observed in the surveys that were conducted prior to the implementation of the smoking prevention program (Rudatsikira et al., 2007).   The programs provide information regarding the different types of tobacco that are currently being circulated among the youth, including cigarettes, pipe and cigars.   The attitudes of children and youth are also examined in order to determine the influence of different factors around their immediate environment as well as in their homes.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   I have learned that smoking among teenagers is not a simple action that is influenced by peer pressure.   I realized through my research that smoking among teenagers is influenced by social interactions with the family and friends, as well as in the school.   It is also interesting to know that the media imparts a strong effect on teenagers and smoking.   I also agree with the reports that describe that different conditions exist in different communities, hence a simple smoking prevention program that involves aggressive campaign against smoking and tobacco are destined to be ineffective in decreasing or controlling the rise in the number of cases of teenagers using tobacco.   I will take the information I have learned from this report with me and hopefully I may apply the facts that I have learned in the actual setting.    References Barnett TA, Gauvin L, Lambert M, O’Loughlin J, Paradis G and McGrath JJ (2007):   The influence of school smoking policies on student tobacco use.   Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 161(9):842-848. CDC (1998):   Tobacco use among high school students: United States, 1997. MMWR 47: 229-33. Fisher LB, Miles IW, Austin SB, Camargo Jr. CA and Colditz GA (2007):   Predictors of initiation of alcohol use among US adolescents.   Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 161(10):959-966. Lotrean LM, Ionut C and de Vries H (2006):   Tobacco use among Romanian youth.   Salud Publica Mex. 48 suppl 1:S107-S112. Lubman DI, Hides L and Jorm AF (2007):   Beliefs of young people and their parents about the harmfulness of alcohol, cannabis and tobacco for mental disorders.   MJA   187:266–269. Phillips R, Amos A, Ritchie D, Cunningham-Burley S and Martin C (2007):   Smoking in the home after the smoke-free legislation in Scotland: qualitative study.   BMJ 335:553-557. Rudatsikira E, Abdo A and Muula AS (2007):   Prevalence and determinants of adolescent tobacco smoking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.   BMC Public Health 7:176-182. Sargent JD, Stoolmiller M, Worth KA, Cin SD, Wills TA, Gibbons FX, Gerrard M and Tanski S (2007):   Exposure to smoking depictions in movies its association with established adolescent smoking.   Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 161(9):849-856.

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