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ahro0703's avatar

Is teen smoking a social problem?

Asked by ahro0703 (376points) November 10th, 2014

Remember, it is whether teen smoking is a social problem, not that it is good or bad. Since teen smoking is becoming an issue, I want to know your opinion.

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18 Answers

Bayjo98241's avatar

I think so, due to socialization with other teens it just sort of happens with certain crowds.

ragingloli's avatar

It has been an issue since the invention of cigarettes.
It is a social issue, because children are compelled to smoke because of peer pressure.

Strauss's avatar

As @ragingloli says, it is and has been as long as I can remember. My dad (born 1914) told me his older sister gave him a carton of cigarettes for his 15th birthday, saying something like “You’re a man now, so here are some cigarettes”.

I started smoking about age 12, )around 1960) giving in to peer pressure. It was “cool” to be walking around our small town with our cigs hanging out of our mouth. To be sure, we kept to the alleys so nobody who knew our parents could see us, but we were so cool!

Little did I know that it would be over 20 years before I could escape that slavery, and I was lucky to be able to do it at that time.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Smoking in general is a social problem in my opinion. Not only is the smokers affected but also the people around them are affected, in many ways.

janbb's avatar

Define what you mean by “social problem.”

LuckyGuy's avatar

If a credible stigma was attached to smoking, its attractiveness would decrease.

Let’s throw a few out there as examples – without data. Maybe someone can research it.
Smokers get lower grades in school than nonsmokers. (likely due to behavior problems)
Smokers have reduced chance of getting into college than nonsmokers. (likely due to poorer grades)
Smokers spend x dollars per month on cigarettes that nonsmokers can spent on clothes or going out. (easy to estimate)
Smokers have lower income than nonsmokers. (likely due to do lower education level – poor grades)
Smokers cannot run as fast or jump as high as nonsmokers. (data)
Smokers cannot make love as long as nonsmokers (assumption based on above)
Smokers have increased incidence of lung, prostate, and mouth cancer. (well researched data)
Smokers’ hair and breath stinks like an ash tray. (subjective)

We need to convince girls to stop going out with boys who smoke. That would solve the problem, too.

If anti-smoking marketing was 10% as good as the cig. industry’s marketing there would be very few new smokers.
The anti-smoking messages on cig. packs now are a joke around the world. In some countries they laugh at the US for their I know someone who actually collected them because he thought they were so funny!
How about a commercial that shows 2 hot guys: one in a hot car and one in a conservative car. Ask 100 women which guy they’d like to go out with for a long drive in the country. Then show the guy with the hot car holding a cigarette and ask another 100 women the same question.
Publish that data!
Go to a dating web site and look at how many women state “Non Smokers only” for their partner preference. Publish that data!
Non-smokers have more partner choices. Publish that data!

Kid don’t care about cancer. They do care about dating. Hit them there!

zenvelo's avatar

Teen smoking isn’t a social issue, it’s a public health issue. And treating it as a public health issue has gotten it to the point where teen smoking rates have gone way down.

At my kids’ high school in Northern California, some, but few, kids smoke. At least in California teens have grown up knowing smoking is not only not cool, it is considered stupid.

And the prevalence of e-cigs is a health issue, too. One reason it has gained popularity is that it is seen as not dangerous.

Coloma's avatar

Well….I must say that I do enjoy a few organic cigarettes every day. With coffee, with wine and while smoking is, obviously not “cool”, neither is breathing in bus exhaust, wild fire smoke and all the other pollutants in our environment. Personally while not disputing the health concerns I think the militant stance against smokers is overkill. I have no problem with somebody lighting up outdoors as long as they don’t blow it in my face while I am eating.

Yes, kids fall for peer pressure, that’s what happened to me when I had my 1st cigarette 40 years ago. I was the one that protested the loudest about how wrong it was, and now, decades later I still crave a cigarette inspite of quitting numerous times. Habits formed in adolescence are the hardest to break.

stanleybmanly's avatar

All smoking is a social problem. Addiction is a social problem. Lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease are social problems.

Coloma's avatar

@stanleybmanly Well…we have to doe of SOMETHING! lol
Heart disease is the #1 killer for almost everybody smoking aside.

majorrich's avatar

I hate to point any fingers, but I feel teenage smoking is a parenting problem.
I had a buddy in the service that could run all day and would actually smoke while we were running! His blood pressure was lower than any of us and his pulse was like an Olympic athlete. True, he is an anecdotal oddity but it it a great story.
I started smoking at Ft.Bragg to keep the gnats away from my food. Cigarettes turned to Cigars as I got promoted and my bravado increased. I still enjoy the occasional cigar or my pipes.

Strauss's avatar

@majorrich I enjoy my occasional pipe as well, but it’s not tobacco. Viva Colorado!

majorrich's avatar

Except I’m not allowed to smoke in the house. :(

iun32s3's avatar

as long as they know the bad and buy it with their own money

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy I don’t think those things would influence whether a teen starts smoking or not. Plus, half those things are due to income level not smoking.

When I was learning how cigarettes make your lungs black and cause emphysema and cancer in school, my dad was smoking while working for the Surgeon General. This was when the warnings were already on cigarettes, but before the law suits. My dad didn’t really take the warnings seriously and he liked his addiction.

Social stigma I think works, but I don’t think your examples really lead to stigma in an efficient way. Most young people don’t see illness and cancer as a reality. Most young people don’t really consider long term consequences. It has to be shameful in the moment. My aunt says she feels like a leper the last 20 years because she smokes. She can’t smoke anywhere in public.

Response moderated (Spam)
Coloma's avatar

@ramirezwilli The E-Cigs have not been thoroghly tested/proven to be without harmful effects either. Inhaling a vapor mist with nicotine may not be as bad as all the particulates in smoke but….the jury is still out while the evidence of harmlessness has not been proven.
Inhaling steam with chemicals in it doesn’t sound too great either.

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