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Youth and Smoking Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Rajendra Mulmi, Nepal Feb 8, 2003
Health   Opinions


Teenagers begin smoking for a variety of reasons: peer pressure, the glamour of smoking, the thrill of breaking a society taboo, etc. They give little thought to the long-term adverse implications of using tobacco products. This is not surprising since young people routinely engage in many types of other risk taking behaviors (e.g., alcohol, drugs, drinking and driving, etc.) without thinking through the dangers and risks involved.

Despite existing laws on the books making it illegal for minors to smoke and calls for new legislation with more stringent penalties for underage smokers, the number of underage tobacco users is climbing at an alarming rate. Moreover, there is no compelling evidence to suggest that the calls for harsher penalties, including criminalizing underage smoking and possession of tobacco products, will have a significant and constructive impact.

Young people need to be held accountable for their behavior. However, elected public officials, professionals, health care organizations and public interest groups interested in addressing the underage smoking issue in a constructive and effective way should develop and implement policies that are based upon what research there is on the topic, experience from other related areas, findings from new and promising research and development efforts, and the consensus from the best professional thinking. Also, efforts should be made to involve young people themselves in helping to design and implement prevention and intervention programs.

In addition, because of the limited knowledge about how to prevent and stop underage use of tobacco products, it is strongly recommended that all youth anti smoking policies and programs, particularly including the harsher measures being proposed, be carefully and systematically evaluated. The findings from these studies should be used to build our knowledge base and further our understanding about how to address this growing problem more effectively in the future.



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Rajendra Mulmi

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Big Problem
Shah Khanam | Dec 1st, 2003
Teenage & youth smoking is a problem every where, smokers not only harm themselves but also damages other people's health. Smoking should be banned!

Rajendra Mulmi | Dec 1st, 2003
Thanks for sharing your thought Shereen. I don't konw what can be a long term solution and am not sure if banning it will work

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