Late-adolescence crisis

| July 10, 2018

By living more dangerously and settling down later than people of previous generations, Millennials could be creating a new generation of addicted smokers and e-cigarette users, according to the results of research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), published on Newswise.

Statistics highlighted in an article in the Journal of Adolescent Health had shown greater numbers of new smokers and e-cigarette users among young adults than among adolescents, marking a reversal of previous social norms, the Newswise story said.

“Historically, it used to be that nearly everything started by age 18,” Cheryl Perry, PhD, senior author and professor and regional dean at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin, was quoted as saying. “That’s no longer the case, as young adults are experimenting with things once more common during high school years. Young adults are starting to act like adolescents.”

The new statistics indicate that people are much more likely to start smoking as young adults rather than as adolescents. Using the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, analysis of cross-sectional data from 2006-2013 is said to show that the rate of onset of cigarette smoking among young adults (6.3 percent) was more than three times higher than onset among adolescents (1.9 percent) during this time.

“If adolescence now extends to age 30, this makes the battle against tobacco much bigger and more complicated,” Perry was quoted as saying toward the end of the story.

“Just when we thought we were nearing the end game, we might have been outsmarted.

“It’s a challenge, which will demand new ways of trying to communicate with and influence young adults who may be much harder to reach than adolescents.”

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Category: Breaking News, People

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