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Smoking: Hard to Quit Even for Teens

Scientists have found that even among new smokers the difficulty in trying to quit is similar to that experienced by long time smokers. These findings were recently published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, which the authors believe can help identify target treatments in teens.

Researchers from Brown University studied the behavior of teen smokers aged 13-19 years and found that they experienced the same difficulties as adult smokers who want to give up smoking. Led by L. Cinnamon Bidwell, assistant professor in psychiatry and human behavior at Brown’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, the investigators compared the behaviors of 96 adolescents who were divided into three groups of nonsmokers, smokers not trying to quit, and smokers who avoided cigarettes for a day. They noted that the teen smokers usually consumed an average of nine cigarette stick per day for about two years.

The results of their study showed that the teenagers who avoided cigarettes for a day experienced similar smoking urges, intense cravings, mood swings, and withdrawal symptoms as those observed in adults. Senior author Suzanne Colby, associate professor in the university states that the teens’ reactions were remarkably comparable as those of adults who have been smoking for several years, even if the teenagers have only been on the habit for a couple of years.

The researchers also observed that teen smokers reacted more strongly to cues that suggested smoking compared to their peers. They believe that their findings suggest that future studies must focus on looking at these factors and make smoking cessation programs target teenagers.


Dallas, ME. Quitting Smoking Just as Hard for Teens: Study. HealthDay News.


Posted in: Cigarette Smoking, News Briefs, Teenage Health

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