Young Smokers Don't Realize They're Becoming Addicted

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Kids who have begun smoking don't seem to recognize the early signs of nicotine dependence.

The Study

A newly published study, authored by Chyke Doubeni of the University of Massachusetts, found that adolescent smokers who have just started smoking don't realize that irritability and the urge to smoke are early signs of nicotine dependence.

The study surveyed adolescent smokers every 3 to 4 months over a period of 4 years. Over the course of the study, 52% of the 370 subjects experienced symptoms of nicotine dependence and 40% eventually became daily smokers.

Why Is This Important?

The study found that even nondaily smoking can trigger early signs of nicotine dependence, and early dependence leads to increased smoking. t's known that nicotine dependence and nicotine addiction are strongly correlated--because teens don't recognize these dependence symptoms, they may be likely to go on to develop an addiction to smoking.

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