Australia has found methods to stop teenagers smoking. Expensive prices on cigarettes, anti-smoking rules and tobacco control policies helped to reduce smoking rates among youth.
Dr. Michael Siegel from the Boston University School of Public Health told that a price increasing demonstrates that they know methods to decrease smoking among teenagers.
Dr. Michael Siegel reported that they have the tools in their disposal. It is needed only the political will to fulfill these programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed that approximately one in six American high school students smokes. Most adult smokers begin to smoke till 18 years. That is why stopping smoking is estimated major to averting smoking-related disease.
Dr. Melanie Wakefield of The Cancer Council tried to identify the effect of anti-smoking programs and increase in cigarette prices on youth smoking. The study was published in the journal Addiction.
From 1990 through 2005, the researchers put question to more than 20,000 Australian high school students, asking if they had smoked a cigarette not long ago. Dr. Melanie Wakefield and her team compared rates of youth smoking with cigarette price increasing over those 15 years – after allowing for inflation – and with the level of anti-smoking programs, such as prohibition on smoking in the building.
The youth smoking rate decreased from nearly 23 percent in 1990 to approximately 13 percent in 2005. In that same period of time, the cost of cigarettes multiplied by two.
The study showed that government expenses on anti-smoking programs increased, but youth smoking decreased. The same was with rules about the building smoking; the stricter the rules, the fewer teenagers smoked.
The anti-smoking program, such as endeavors to restrict youth’s access to cigarettes, was not crowned with success. The researchers said in their report that ways that did work were all initially directed at adult people.
Dr. Melanie Wakefield said that maybe teenagers were influenced by mass media programs or stories about smoking-related disease. Wakefield added that ” a person who smokes outdoors in the cold at building entry is not attractive to teenagers.”
Dr. Michael Siegel said that in the USA, programs such as prohibition on smoking in public places have as well helped reduce smoking rates among youth; this program works due to the fact that it changes the social environment.
The research did not confirm that Australia had made youth to smoke less. To prove that, researchers would have to establish a study with two groups of teenagers – a group of youth who must pay the higher cigarette prices, follow the regulation, and watch the anti-smoking advertising, and another group not – and check if they have changed their smoking habits.
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