Younger individuals tend to experiment with cigarette smoking out of curiosity, peer pressure, parental modeling, misconceptions on its positive effects on stress and coolness of the act, as well as media’s portrayal of the image that smoking is an acceptable behaviour that can be picked up by the youth.
But according to the 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (YRBS), cigarette smoking among US high school students is at an all-time low, with only 11 percent of high school students reported smoking versus the 28 percent in 1991. However, while cigarette smoking decreased among high school students, there was an increase in the use of e-cigarettes among this population, also considered as a risky behaviour.
The director of the CDC notes that programs aimed to reduce the use of tobacco products including e-cigarettes among the youth should be continued.
In a recent study, researchers found that ghastly photos depicting the adverse effects of smoking on health could help smokers quit the habit.
The researchers used photos of smoke coming out of a hole in the neck, lungs damaged by smoke, badly stained teeth or a patient near death.
At the end of the study, 6 percent of smokers who used cigarettes in packaging with these photos stopped the habit for a week compared to 4 percent of those who did not have these graphic images.
The lead researcher attributes the smoking cessation to the pictures that smokers can’t get their minds off. The FDA can use these results as evidence that graphic warnings may help stop smoking, and eventually include these kinds of images in cigarette packaging.
In Singapore, the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) coincided its outreach efforts against smoking with the World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May. According to the SCS, their effort aims to create a smoke-free environment through ownership and peer learning by leveraging the creativity and drive of the youth.
Before the current campaign, the SCS have already collaborated with several schools and different commercial establishments with their smoke-free campaign for students and to encourage people to live a smoke-free life.
Singapore's Health Ministry has expanded the list of smoke-free areas to ban smoking in all public places and protect non-smokers from the negative effects of second-hand smoke. These areas now include reservoirs and parks in both public and private housing estates aside from hospitals, shopping malls, cinemas, covered walkways and any area within a five-metre radius of a bus stop, among others. MIMS
Government agencies push anti-smoking campaigns to curb teen smoking
Cecille Anthony Adams, 16 Jun 2016