Text Size
Smaller
Bigger

What a Young Teen Thinks About Cigarettes Reveals Likelihood to Also Use Drugs and Alcohol

posted 11:11 PM EST, Wed September 30, 2009
-- filed under: | | |
What a Young Teen Thinks About Cigarettes Reveals Likelihood to Also Use Drugs and Alcohol © Photo Creit: Matt Caplin

Teens that think smoking is OK are far more likely to also use marijuana and alcohol.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College wanted to get a better understanding of what risk factors predispose young teens to trying cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs; so they developed a survey that was administered to 2400 inner city New York 6th and 7th graders that asked about substance use history and psychological factors thought to increase a person’s likelihood of poly drug use.

They found that a teen’s attitudes and perceptions influence the likelihood of poly drug use considerably. Finding that:

  • Teen girls that hang out with girls who have permissive or ambivalent attitudes about smoking are far more likely to report poly drug use, while teen boys that believe that many other boys of their same age also smoke, are far more likely to report poly drug use
  • Both teen boys and girls who have friends that use alcohol or tobacco are more likely to report poly drug use
  • Permissive parental attitudes about smoking or drinking are related to an increased probability of poly drug use amongst both sexes

The researchers recommend that parents teach their kids assertiveness skills to reject drugs, alcohol and tobacco and to closely monitor a teen’s group of friends. Study author Dr. Jennifer A. Epstein commented, saying, “Moms and dads are critical role models and should let their attitudes against drug use be known. It's also important to keep an eye on their child's social circle, since, especially for girls, it's their friends who are so central to influencing their behavior."

The researchers say their findings are significant and could be used to help develop gender specific prevention programs for young teens. They say that programs that target multiple substances (alcohol, tobacco and drugs) may be more effective, since attitudes about cigarettes are clearly linked to alcohol and drug experimentation.

The research was funded in part by NIDA and is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Helpful Information
Alcohol Addiction – the Straight Facts
Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism) – Learn the Facts © Josep Salvia I Bote
The difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism), what puts you at risk of becoming an alcoholic and what to do once you’ve crossed that invisible line to addiction. Read Article
Addictions February 22, 2013
An Alcoholism Progression Timeline
A Timeline Charting the Progressive Nature of Alcoholism © Flannol
Here are 2 facts about alcoholism: It tends to get worse over time (it is progressive) and most people experience a fairly similar progression of symptoms and consequences. Here is a timeline which charts the progressive experiences of alcoholism through the early, middle and late stages. If you have a drinking problem, find out where you fall on the timeline and consider what’s coming in the future. Read Article
Alcoholism July 11, 2013 (13)
For Teens: How to Quit Marijuana on Your Own
For Teens That Want to Quit Marijuana – 10 Situations That Lead to Relapse and 5 Ways to Overcome Cravings © John Steven Fernandez
If you prepare yourself for high-risk situations and learn strategies to prevent relapse you have a great chance of being able to quit on your own – learn how to succeed here. Read Article
Teenagers July 15, 2013
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.