Youth smoking is sparked by multiple factors, such as smoking parents or friends, dropping out of high school and smoking at a young age.
A study based on a national sample of more than 14,000 young adults 21.8 years old on average found many common factors contribute to smoking among youth. Depression, for example, increases a young person's risk of becoming a smoker, as does finding cigarettes pleasurable when first trying them. Being a "novelty seeker" also tends to lead children and teens to smoke.
Overall, according to the study, minority youth are less likely than white to try cigarettes, become daily smokers once they do try cigarettes and become dependent on nicotine once becoming daily smokers. While graduating from high school lowers white and black adolescents' risk for smoking, a high school diploma actually increased smoking rates among Hispanics in the study.
[From: "Epidemiology and Correlates of Daily Smoking and Nicotine Dependence Among Young Adults in the United States" Contact: Denise B. Kandel, PhD, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.]
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