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Why Do Young People Smoke

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ySmoking and young people A STRIKING approach for young people in Leeds!
Striking is a tobacco prevention / cessation package for young people in Leeds which has been piloted and evaluated in three secondary schools. Striking aims to prevent the uptake and reduce smoking prevalence in young people across Leeds, increase knowledge and skills and support young people to make healthier life choices.

Smoking and under 18s
Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service offers a free confidential service for young people (under 18) who wish to stop smoking. Striking is a structured support programme for up to 12 weeks to support a young person through small steps to successfully stopping smoking. Striking is a service run by specially trained advisors to help young people in Leeds stop smoking.
Including information: assertiveness and resistance skills, coping strategies, planning to cut down and changing daily routines, setting a quit date, nicotine replacement therapy, smoker free places, tobacco industry, weight, exercise, cannabis.
The Striking workbook is used as an interactive tool with the young person to take them through each small step of the support programme. Nicotine replacement therapy is licensed for young people to use over 12 years old (Committee on Safety of Medicines Dec 2005).
Protocol for the supply and use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in 12-17 year olds for Leeds can be found on the NHS Leeds Intranet under Trust policies, Medicines and Prescribing PL118.
What we offer: * A free confidential service * A friendly, non – judgemental service * 1:1 support or group support in a place close to where you live * Nicotine Replacement Therapy on prescription (for over 12 years old) * Weekly appointments * Text message support * Advice on breaking habits and routines * Support for friends, siblings, parents that wish to stop smoking * Carbon Monoxide testing to show your progress
To make an appointment please phone
Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0800 169 4219
(Office hours Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Or text ‘quit’ to 07811542548
Smoking and young people
In Great Britain about 450 children start smoking every day. By the age of 15, 23% of young people are regular smokers. Given this evidence it is important that targeted prevention and cessation work is carried out to prevent uptake.
The earlier a person starts smoking, due to the addictive nature of nicotine, the more likely he or she will become a heavy smoker and therefore have a greater risk of suffering from one of the many diseases caused by smoking. A young person who smokes as few as four cigarettes may develop a lifelong addiction to nicotine. Research has shown that young people can become addicted to nicotine after the first few cigarettes.
Approximately, half of today’s young smokers will die early from smoking related diseases.
Smoking and addiction
Nicotine is from a family of plants and is a very addictive stimulant drug.
The addictive effect of nicotine is linked to its capacity to trigger the release of dopamine a chemical in the brain that is associated with feeling pleasure. The satisfaction is a short lived process. Research suggests that in the long term nicotine actually depresses the brain’s ability to experience pleasure and consequently increases a person’s need for greater levels to achieve the same levels of satisfaction.
The addictive drug causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when nicotine is present and the bad feelings when it 's absent make breaking any addiction very difficult. Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break.
Nicotine has a pronounced effect on the major stress hormones, increasing heart rate and raising blood pressure whilst the cigarette is being smoked.
Cigarette smoking may increase the risk of developing hardening of the arteries and heart attacks in several ways. Firstly, carbon monoxide may damage the inner walls of the arteries, encouraging fatty plaque deposits. Over time, this causes the vessels to narrow and harden. Nicotine may also contribute to this process. Smoking also causes several changes in the blood, such as thickening, that make clots and heart attack more likely.
Smoking and the immediate health effects
Smoking affects many parts of the body both inside and outside. Some of the effects are immediate and some take longer. Here are some of the harmful short term effects: * Smelly hair – people can smell a smoker * Less oxygen to the brain – harder to concentrate * Gum disease and bad breath – when kissing * Cough, breathlessness * Increased risk of asthma attacks – use your inhaler more often * Reduced fitness due to shortage of oxygen – hard to keep up at sport * Smelly clothes and skin – people are judging you * Heart rate and blood pressure increases – can be a bit scary * More colds and flu * Stained yellow/brown teeth and fingers – yet another public statement
The cost of smoking
Smoking is an expensive habit, how much does it cost?
Use this table to check what it really costs over weeks, months and years. I smoke | 5 a day | 10 a day | 15 a day | 20 a day | 1 day | £1.38 | £2.75 | £4.13 | £5.50 | 1 week | £9.63 | £19.25 | £28.88 | £38.50 | 2 weeks | £19.25 | £38.50 | £57.75 | £77.00 | 1 month | £41.82 | £83.65 | £125.47 | £167.29 | 1 year | £501.88 | £1,003.75 | £1,505.63 | £2,007.50 | 10 years | £5,018.75 | £10,037.50 | £15,056.25 | £20,075.00 | * You’ll have more money to spend on other things * You won’t be giving money to the government in taxes * You won’t be boosting tobacco company profits
Please note: cigarette prices will increase regularly and therefore these figures are only approx
What 's in a cigarette?
The main ingredients of a cigarette (tobacco products) include tobacco, paper, filter materials and additives.
There are over 600 different additives are allowed to be added to cigarettes manufactured in the UK. The additives actually used are much harder to discover because the tobacco companies claim these to be covered by commercial confidentiality.
A range of additives are used for a number of reasons to improve the physical characteristics of the tobacco products for example as a preservative to extend shelf life or to make the product more desirable (improve taste).
Some examples include:- * various gums, oils and oil extracts (primarily of vegetable origin) * a range of fruit and fruit extracts (apple, banana, apricot, blackcurrant, strawberry, cherry, pear, plum, grape etc) * sweeteners and flavourings (sugars, honey, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, mint etc) * alcohols (rum, wine, sherry) * a wide range of other chemical compounds (pesticides, fertilisers, fumigants, processing agents etc)
While some of these may appear to be quite harmless in their natural form they may be toxic in combination with other substances. Also when the 600 permitted additives are burned, new products of combustion are formed and these may be toxic.
Additives are also allegedly used to increase the addictiveness of nicotine, or making it easier to learn to start smoke.
The appeal of cigarettes or additives can lead to more smoking and therefore cause much more harm than the tiny quantity of the chemical additive causes itself.
The nicotine and tar delivery can also be modified by the type of paper used in the cigarette. Using more porous paper will let more air into the cigarette, diluting the smoke and (in theory) reducing the amount of tar and nicotine reaching the smoker’s lungs.
A-Z of poisons and chemicals in tobacco smoke
Cigarettes are made from dried tobacco leaves that have been treated with chemicals. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals and more than 60 are known to be cancer causing.
Tar – is black sticky substance that is a cocktail of many poisonous chemicals.
Nicotine – is the addictive chemical in tobacco smoke
Carbon Monoxide – is a poisonous gas that replaces oxygen in the red blood cells. * Arsenic (weed killer, rat and ant poison) * Ammonia (floor cleaner) * Acetone (nail polish remover, paint stripper) * Benzene (petrol fumes) * Butane (lighter fuel) * Carbon Monoxide (gas in car exhaust / fumes) * Cyanide (lethal poison) * DDT (insecticide, fly killers) * Formaldehyde (embalming fluid) * Nicotine (pesticide, insect killer) * Lead (chemicals in batteries) * Radon (radioactive gas) * Methanol (rocket fuel) * Polonium-210 (radioactive chemical – heating spacecraft) * Tar (tarmac used on roads) * Acetic Acid (vinegar) * Hydrogen Sulphide (rotten eggs) * Methane (cow burps)
Second hand smoke
What is second hand smoke?
Second hand smoke is simply other people 's tobacco smoke, and is also known as passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Second hand smoke is everywhere that people are smoking.
The non-smoker is exposed to and breathes: * 'side-stream ' smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and; * 'mainstream ' smoke that has been inhaled and then exhaled by the smoker
It is the 'side-stream ' smoke from the burning end of the cigarette that makes the most secondhand smoke and is poisonous as it contains high concentrations of toxic chemicals.
What does secondhand smoke contain?
Tobacco smoke contains a cocktail of over 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are toxic and damaging to health.
Some other killers in secondhand smoke that are hiding right beneath our noses include: * Tar: - which is known to cause cancer and lung damage * Carbon monoxide: - which is a toxic gas found in car exhaust fumes * Benzene: - which is found in petrol fumes and causes leukemia * Ethanol: - which is found in anti-freeze * Formaldehyde: - which is an embalming fluid * Hydrogen cyanide: - which is classed as an industrial pollutant * Arsenic: - which is effectively rat poison * Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon: - which is found in diesel exhaust
Why is second hand smoke so bad for health?
Second hand smoke can cause very serious health problems – it does more than cause unpleasant side effects in some people like sore eyes, headaches, throat irritation and coughing.
85% of second hand smoke is invisible and odorless
Second hand smoke can also linger in an enclosed place long after someone has been smoking. Scientists have also found that ventilation systems are not able to eliminate the risks of secondhand smoke.
Second hand smoke is particularly bad for the health of children, causing serious medical conditions including childhood respiratory disease, middle ear disease and SIDS. Pregnant women who breathe in secondhand smoke can also pass on harmful chemicals to their babies.
Smoking and the environment
Have you ever thought if smoking is so harmful why is it legal?
The UK government alone raises £10 billion a year in tobacco duties. Tobacco companies are well aware of nicotine addiction and continue to push their deadly products as it makes them wealthy. As older smokers die or quit, tobacco companies need to attract new users making YOU as young people vital in order for them to remain powerful.
Around 600 million trees a year are destroyed to provide fuel for drying and curing tobacco. Tree loss (deforestation) causes soil erosion which may lead to desert formation.
In developing countries where this deforestation has taken place and the land becomes arid, or desert like, it becomes increasingly difficult to grow food crops. It is estimated that 10-20 million people could be fed if food crops were grown instead of tobacco.
Smoking fact: cigarettes brought into the country illegally are not regulated by EU standards, which means they may contain a higher percentage of tar and other unregulated substances such as rat droppings (found in some manufactured from China)

Teenagers influenced by smoking in movies Teenagers who watch films showing actors smoking are more likely to take it up, new UKresearch suggests,” reported BBC News. It said a study of 5,000 15-year-olds looked at their exposure to smoking on screen, and whether or not they had tried smoking.
This study found that 15-year-olds who were most exposed to seeing smoking in films were more likely to have tried a cigarette than those least exposed, and were also more likely to be current smokers.
This is a large, well-conducted study in more than 5,000 teenagers and its findings will contribute to the debate on the factors that encourage adolescents to take up the habit. The study has several limitations, however, and while it provides a valuable snapshot of teen film viewing and smoking habits, it cannot prove that watching smoking on screen contributes to teenagers starting smoking.
Reducing smoking in young people is an important issue and it is probable that role models in films play a part. However, it is unclear at this stage whether reclassifying films featuring smoking to certificate 18 will have this effect. Further research is needed. Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Bristol and Dartmouth Medical School, USA. It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Thorax. Funding was provided by the US National Institutes of Health and the American Legacy Foundation.
The newspaper reports were fair, although they did not cover the study’s limitations. Both the BBC and The Independent used figures from the study that had not been adjusted for all the factors that might have been an influence on teen smoking habits. They both reported that teenagers who were most exposed to films in which characters smoked were 73% more likely to have tried a cigarette. However, when this figure was adjusted for confounders, these teenagers were found to be 32% more likely to have tried a cigarette. What kind of research was this?
This was a cross-sectional study designed to assess whether there is any association between depictions of smoking in films and adolescent tobacco use. The authors say there is increasing evidence that exposure to risky behaviour in the media (for example via TV programmes and films) is associated with risky behaviour such as tobacco and alcohol use in childhood and adolescence. They say that while film ratings systems address issues such as violence they do not address the issue of smoking.
The researchers say that previous research from other countries has shown that smoking attitudes and the behaviour of adolescents is influenced by smoking seen in films, but it is unclear whether this association applies to adolescents in the UK.
In this study, the researchers wanted to investigate whether there was an association between watching smoking on screen and smoking behaviour in a large population of 15-year-old adolescents in the UK. What did the research involve?
Data for this research were obtained from a large ongoing Bristol-based study that is looking at the health and development of children. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) enrolled 14,500 pregnant women with an expecteddelivery date from 1991 to 1992. Detailed information has been collected using questionnaires completed by mothers and by their children after they reached the age of seven years.
The researchers looked at data on both smoking and film collected from more than 5,166 15-year-olds in the study. A computer-assisted interview was used to ask adolescents whether they had seen 50 randomly selected films, drawn from a list of 366 popular contemporary films comprising the top 70 US box office hits released between 2001 and 2005. The number of smoking occurrences in each film was counted by trained assistants. The number of occurrences in each film was identified as the total exposure and these were classified into four categories ranging from highest to lowest.
The teenagers were also asked questions about smoking, in particular whether they had ever tried a cigarette and whether they smoked currently.
The researchers also took into account possible confounders, information on which had been collected over time. These included breastfeeding, childhood disorders, social class, parental and childhood behaviour, current alcohol use, other social and environmental factors and whether their friends smoked.
The researchers created six different models that took into account different combinations of these confounders, and looked at the association between exposure to films containing smoking and smoking habits in each of these models. They did this to see whether adding or removing the influence of things like family smoking, peer pressure and social class affected the strength of the association.
They also looked at data from all existing cross-sectional studies on the effects of smoking in films and summarised these in ameta-analysis. They used a systematic search strategy to identify such studies. What were the basic results? The higher the exposure to smoking in films, the higher the risk of teenagers having tried a cigarette. * Those in the highest category of exposure to smoking in films were 73% more likely to have ever tried smoking than those in the lowest category of exposure (RR 1.73, 95% CI 1.55 to 1.93). * After adjusting for all the confounding factors, including alcohol use and peer group smoking, in the sixth model, this relative risk dropped to 1.32. * Those in the highest category were 47% more likely to report they currently smoked after adjusting for age, gender, social factors and family influences. The researchers thought this was the most representative model (RR 1.47 95% CI 1.07 to 2.01). * In the analysis of current smokers in which other factors including behavioural factors like problems with attention, depression or anxiety were adjusted for, the relative risk dropped further (RR 1.34, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.87) and became non-significant.
The researchers’ meta-analysis of existing studies found that viewing smoking in films doubled the likelihood of having tried a cigarette (combined RR 2.13 95% CI 1.76 to 2.57) and increased the likelihood of currently smoking by 68% (combined RR 1.68, 95% CI 0.40 to 2.01). The meta-analysis included six previous studies and three that were published in the current issue ofThorax, including the one from Bristol. How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers conclude that their study provides evidence that adolescents in the UK and elsewhere who are exposed to smoking in films are more likely to start or try smoking. They say this finding justifies a review of film ratings so that they take into account scenes with people smoking. Conclusion
One of the strengths of this study is that the researchers carried out several adjusted models to check for the influence of confounding factors. They also present the results of a meta-analysis that puts their study in context and includes the findings of other studies.
The study also had some limitations: * As a cross-sectional study, the study cannot establish cause and effect, so it cannot say that viewing films where characters smoked caused teenagers to start smoking. It is possible that teenagers in the study tried a cigarette or started to smoke before they had seen films containing scenes of smoking. * The researchers relied on teenagers self-reporting both what films they had seen and whether they smoked or had tried smoking, which could affect the reliability of the study’s results. As the researchers also point out, they only recorded whether films on the list had been seen, not the number of times the films had been seen. * Although the researchers tried to adjust for confounders, it is possible that other factors, both measured and unmeasured, influenced teen smoking habits.
In conclusion, this large study is a valuable contribution to the discussion about teen smoking habits. However, due to the design of the study and the previously mentioned limitations, the study cannot prove that exposure to smoking on screen makes adolescents more likely to smoke. While reducing the number of teens taking up smoking is an important issue, it is still unclear whether classifying such films as certificate 18 would have this effect. Further research and debate is needed.

History * In 1969, legislation required tobacco companies to place warning labels on cigarette packets declaring, "Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health"; thus began one of the first government campaigns for smoking prevention. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated in 2002 that job productivity lost, premature death of workers and other smoking-related illnesses cost the American economy $150 billion a year. It 's statistics such as these that have pushed the government to embark on a variety of campaigns and smoking cessation programs targeting all age groups, ethnicities and genders.
Smoking Cessation Website * The government 's anti-smoking website,, has a host of information available to health professionals and interactive pages for people who are looking to quit smoking. The site features compelling advertisements about quitting smoking, expert help and guidance, an online chat feature that allows quitters to "speak" with counselors, telephone assistance and a list of medications designed to aid withdrawal symptoms. There are also links to agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association. Studies and research associated with smoking, and a page specifically designed for women, are also prominently featured. * Sponsored Links * Watch Now
Watch Instantly Online. No Extra Fees. Free Trial.
Smoking and Seniors * Medicare has also started a program with the goal of helping seniors quit smoking. Similar to other cessation tools, the Medicare program distributes print materials, offers both in person and phone-in counseling, nicotine patches and other medicines related to quitting smoking.
Smoking and Teenagers * On the other end of the scale, there is an effort to reach teenagers before they ever pick up their first cigarette. It 's estimated that 20 percent of American teenagers currently smoke cigarettes, even though it 's illegal to purchase them until a person is 18. The CDC and the American Lung Association (AMA) has partnered with researchers at West Virginia University to launch a nationwide campaign aimed at teens called Not On Tobacco. The AMA provides educational materials to schools and community organizations designed to keep kids from smoking. In addition, the CDC also offers videos, DVDs, tip posters and sports initiative programs as tobacco prevention tools.
Other Government Efforts * The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, continues to partner with national, state and local agencies to provide programs aimed at tobacco control. The National Tobacco Control Program helps to fund health departments nationwide in tobacco-use prevention, including an effort to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation, such as lobbying for smoking bans in public places

Links: * Watch Now Watch Instantly Online. No Extra Fees. Free Trial. Smoking and Seniors * Medicare has also started a program with the goal of helping seniors quit smoking. Similar to other cessation tools, the Medicare program distributes print materials, offers both in person and phone-in counseling, nicotine patches and other medicines related to quitting smoking. Smoking and Teenagers * On the other end of the scale, there is an effort to reach teenagers before they ever pick up their first cigarette. It 's estimated that 20 percent of American teenagers currently smoke cigarettes, even though it 's illegal to purchase them until a person is 18. The CDC and the American Lung Association (AMA) has partnered with researchers at West Virginia University to launch a nationwide campaign aimed at teens called Not On Tobacco. The AMA provides educational materials to schools and community organizations designed to keep kids from smoking. In addition, the CDC also offers videos, DVDs, tip posters and sports initiative programs as tobacco prevention tools. Other Government Efforts * The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, continues to partner with national, state and local agencies to provide programs aimed at tobacco control. The National Tobacco Control Program helps to fund health departments nationwide in tobacco-use prevention, including an effort to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation, such as lobbying for smoking bans in public places

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