Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teen Smoking & Weird Animals (Not Together)

Disclaimer: Teen Link neither condones nor condemns any behaviors or habits, we simply explore the issues.

The Teen Tobacco Craze

The American Lung Association reports that as many as 6,000 teens under the age of 18 start smoking every day. In response, there seems to be no shortage of anti-smoking ad campaigns and programs geared towards helping teens stop smoking (The Truth Campaign,, The Scoop on Smoking, etc.)

But are they working?

According to a new report from the American Journal of Public Health (read about it here), the 2006 ad campaign called “Talk: They’ll Listen,” which focused on getting parents to talk to their kids about smoking, actually had the revere effect. After watching the commercials, teens were actually more inclined to start smoking, likely because “most teens spurn their parents’ advice.” (Of course, the ad campaign was also funded by Philip Morris, one of the largest tobacco producers in the world, so how effective the campaign was to begin with is kind of suspect...)

An Australian study in 2003 found that the only anti-smoking ads that worked were the ones that showed gory/graphic health consequences of smoking like these:

Pretty gory, huh.

And something we always like to hear at Teen Link is that teens who tried to quit but couldn't actually found that their chances of quitting were higher when they had phone counseling available as well (more here). There are plenty of 800 numbers that offer free quit-smoking counseling, and plenty of general 800 counseling lines as well that would love to talk to teens about these issues. Or you could always call Teen Link. :)

More info:

Teens Speaking Out Video

Interesting article on what is effective at helping teens quit


and just for fun:

The Nine Weirdest-Looking Animals You Didn't Know Existed

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