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Reasons Why Teenagers Engage Themselves to Smoking

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  • Pages: 9
  • Word count: 2043
  • Category: Smoking

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A. Research Problem:
Reason why teenagers age 13- 18 years old from different colleges and universities engage in cigarette smoking despite its negative effects

B. Objectives:
1. To gather information about teenage smoking
2. To conduct surveys to both smokers and past smokers 3. To interview 8 smokers/past smokers for the researchers to be able to probe and get a much deeper stance about the reasons as to why teenagers smoke. These will be used to support the survey that was conducted. To identify reasons/root causes why these teenagers engaged themselves in smoking 4. To create/make generalizations about youth smoking 5. To present to people the reasons as to why teenagers smoke and make them aware of the possible root causes.

C. Significance of the Study:
This study is for the researchers to identify and analyze the reasons, and for the people to be aware like non-smokers why there are teenagers who smoke. This study is important because nowadays, the population of youth smokers is increasing. This is for the students of St. Paul Pasig to be familiar with the reasons why there are actually people who smoke despite of its disadvantages to one’s health and to the environment as well. This study may contribute to the solutions about the smoking issues and problems of today and somehow to make parents/school aware of these facts too for them to be able to prevent their children into being engaged to smoking as it may only bring unhealthy and negative effects to one’s body. However this study does not assure that one person would not smoke or would stop smoking after being presented with the facts that will come from this study.

D. Scope and Limitations:
This study aims to distinguish the reasons why there are people, particularly teenagers, who keep on smoking though they know that it is dangerous to one’s health. The researchers will be conducting surveys and interviews. 80 smokers and past smokers (40 smokers and 40 past smokers) will be given a survey while 8 more smokers will be interviewed to achieve an in depth discussion about the reasons they’ll be giving; the 8 smokers to be interviewed are from the 40 smokers surveyed. The researchers are also only going to conduct surveys to random teenagers of the age mentioned above and only from the said places. 40 past smokers are to be surveyed because the researchers would want to compare their reasons with the smokers. Their answers will only be used to support the answers of the smokers. The interview will take place in the school the respondents are from to ensure safety for both parties. The interview will also be done for the researchers to be able to probe on the said research problem. The weakness of this research is that some people who will be given the surveys might not answer the questions properly; therefore, the researchers will not only focus on the answers given by the respondents but also on the interview to be conducted. The researchers are also to use their review of related literature and studies to support their thesis.

E. Definition of Terms:
1. Teenagers/Youth – those who started smoking at the age range of 13-18 years old 2. Cool – State in which teenagers feel ahead among their peers 3. Researchers – the students who are the authors of this thesis 4. Youth Smoking – people who smoke under the age of 18

5. Smokers – smokers who started smoking at the age range of 13-18 6. Past Smokers – those who started smoking at around 13-18 but who already stopped


I. Reasons
Many youth nowadays engage in cigarette smoking. Their reasons as to why they do so are almost all the same. According to Dr. Christine Williams of the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York; children who have parents who smoke are more likely to smoke as well as they get bigger. Williams also states that parents who do not want their children to smoke must quit themselves. “Children learn what they live, it’s not enough for parents to say, ‘do what I say and not what I do’,” Williams said. She also believes that advertisements play a very strong role in influencing the children. (Philippine Journal, November 20, 1998) “Parents are the single most important influence on their children’s decision to smoke, drink, or use drugs, yet many parents do not fully understand the extent of their influence.” (Philip Morris USA, n.d.) Kids do understand that smoking is dangerous, but many of them try it anyway out of curiosity, low self-esteem, peer pressure, the need to establish their own independent identities, and to rebel against their parents. (Rodrigo-Cuenca, M., Philippine Star, p. E-1, August 5, 2003)

According to the book, Peddling Poison: The Tobacco Industry and Kids, Many young people have the false impression that the effect of smoking and other tobacco use are problems they will only have to face much later in life. Many youth who start smoking think they can quit the habit easily. (Snell, C., 2005) Another reason is related to physical appearance. Prof. Arthur Crisp of St. George’s Hospital in London says, “We found significant links between smoking and concerns about feeling fat among school girls 11 to 18 years old.” A majority of the girls said that they smoked to keep the pounds (kilograms) off. This is because girls this age begin to get conscious of what they look like. One in four admitted that it reduced their appetite for eating and that they smoked instead of eating. (Philippine Star, August 8, 1998, p. 14)

II. Effects
Tobacco smoke has serious effects on one’s health. Tobacco smoke raises the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other sicknesses. It also weakens your immune system, making smokers much more susceptible to respiratory and lung illnesses. It also affects the function of macrophages in the lung tissue making the lungs barely able to destroy diseases and viruses entering the system. (Reader’s Digest: Strengthen Your Immune System, 2002) Nicotine is the active ingredient of tobacco. People who smoke tobacco develop a physiological addiction to nicotine. “Research has shown that nicotine increases the flow of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, creating pleasurable feelings and a craving to keep in the bloodstream levels of nicotine that will maintain these feelings.” (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2007) Cigarette smoking is highly addictive, those who say they will quit find it hard to do so. Although several believe they can stop before they get to the age wherein serious problems may occur due to their addiction in smoking. (Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use in Young Adulthood: The Impacts of New Freedoms and New Responsibilities, 1997, p. 50)

In the 2007 Global Youth Tobacco Survey, results show that 86.1 percent among current smokers already wanted to quit the habit, while 87.1 percent have tried to stop during the past year of 2007. (Philippine Star, August 31, 2007, p.1) According to the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Health, appointed by the U.S. Public Health Service, smokers are at risk of having lung cancer and other diseases like stroke, cardiovascular disease, emphysema (a progressive disease that commonly occurs in conjunction with chronic bronchitis), and obstructive pulmonary disease. Secondhand smokers on the other hand, could also have the risk of getting a heart disease and respiratory problems if exposed to smoke. It is possible for pregnant women to have a Fetal damages and for their children to have lung disease and asthma if they were exposed to smoke during pregnancy. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2007) Smokers refer to smoking as, “An insidious slow form of suicide”. Smoking does not only give us several diseases but it can also shorten ones life. It was said that, about 5 ½ minutes of our lives are loss per cigarette. For every puff of cigarette, energy and income are being consumed. (High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction, 2002, p. 119)

So far, the researchers already know the most common reasons as to why teenagers smoke, based on literary sources. These are: peer pressure, when one is influenced or encouraged to smoke by friends or one is engaging in smoking because their parents do so and they think it’s alright; curiosity, low self-esteem, when you have not much confidence on self; and to lose weight.


The researchers will be using the designs interview and survey. The survey will be conducted to 40 smokers and 40 past smokers. The survey is essential for the researchers to be able to come up with a general conclusion as to why teenagers smoke. The interview will be used to support the reasons found in the surveys answered by the participants. These methodologies are important for the completion of the thesis. Sampling procedures used were Purposive and Convenience Sampling. The group used Purposive Sampling for the survey because they have requirements that the participants should meet to be in this study. Convenience Sampling for the interview design because the interviewee and the interviewer should have the same free time so that there won’t be any conflicts with their schedules. Time Frame

The group didn’t spend a lot of money except the bookbinding “part”. The surveys were given to their friends and the friends of their sister/brother. In that way, they don’t have to go to different places to conduct surveys. Same as for the interview,……. The interviewees will be 8 smokers that range in ages 13-18 years old. These interviewees will be from the 40 smokers surveyed. The interviewees’ names and answers will be kept confidential for their own “privacy”. During the duration of the interview, a video footage will be done for the researchers to be able to further study the qualitative data gathered through the actions, facial expressions, etc. of the interviewee.

The following are the questions found in the survey questionnaire: A. for the Smoker:
1. How did you first come to know about smoking?
a. Media, advertisements, etc.
b. Friends
c. Family
d. Environment (e.g. School, Neighborhood, etc.)
e. Others : __________________
2. Do your parents smoke? Y / N
3. Do you have siblings/cousins who smoke? Y / N
4. Who/What are the factors that influenced you to start smoking?

a. Media
b. Peer
c. Family
d. Weight-loss
e. Increase sex appeal
f. Relieve stress/anxiety
g. It’s cool
h. Others: Please specify. _______________

5. What do you get/like from smoking?
a. Relieves Stress
b. Keeps the pounds off
c. I’m more confident
d. It’s fun.
e. Others: ________________

6. Are you aware of the negative effects (e.g. heart ailments, cancer, lung ailments, etc.) it could give you? a. Yes
b. No
7. Are you also aware of the negative effects it could cause the environment? (e.g. global warming, pollution, etc.) a. Yes
b. No
8. Do you have any plans of quitting? Y / N
Why/Why not? _______________________________________________________________________________

B. for the Past Smoker:
1. Are you fully aware of its negative effects both to you and to the environment? a. Yes
b. No
2. Why did you engage in smoking in the first place?
a. Peer pressure
b. Parental influence
c. Self-esteem/ Boost confidence
d. I just think it’s cool
e. “Benefits” please specify:
• Weight loss/management
• Relieve stress/ anxiety
• Social status
• Others:____________________

3. Why did you STOP smoking?
a. I realized it’s bad for my health
b. It makes me look unpleasant (dark lips, yellow teeth, etc.) c. I realized that it’s not cool
d. My parents told me to stop
e. My friends told me to stop
f. Others: ____________________________________
4. If given a chance, would you still want to go back to smoking?
a. Yes, Why? _________________________________
b. No, Why? __________________________________

The following are the questions found in the interview schedule: Pre- interview Questions:
Name, Age, Age they started smoking Interview Questions:
1. What reasons made you want to start smoking? What are the benefits of smoking give you? 2. Do your parents smoke? Do you have relatives and friends who also smoke? 3. Have you been influenced by these people or it’s just your choice that you want to start smoking? 4. If so, are you aware of the effects that it will give you? Are you not afraid about these effects that will do to your body? Why? 5. If given a chance, would you choose to quit smoking or still continue to smoke? Why?

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