Perceived risks and benefits of smoking: differences among adolescents with different smoking experiences and intentions.

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 10/2004; 39(3):559-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.02.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Explanations of adolescent smoking often make reference to adolescents' beliefs that they are invulnerable to harm. However, empirical examination of whether adolescents do acknowledge risks. Further, few studies have considered perceived benefits in adolescents' behavioral decisions. This study examined perceived smoking-related physical and social risks and benefits between adolescents who have vs. have not smoked and do vs. do not intend to smoke.
Three hundred and ninety-five students (mean age = 14.0) completed a survey concerning their smoking experiences, intentions, and perceived risks and benefits of smoking.
Adolescent smokers and those who intend to smoke estimated their chance of experiencing a smoking-related negative outcome as less likely than did nonsmokers and non-intenders. Smokers and intenders also reported the chance of addiction as less likely than did others. In contrast, adolescent smokers and intenders perceived the chance of experiencing a smoking-related benefit as more likely than did nonsmokers and non-intenders.
The data suggest that rather than solely focusing on health risks as a way to deter adolescent smoking, the role of perceived social risks and benefits in adolescents' smoking may be an additional critical focus for intervention. In addition, efforts should be made to increase adolescents' awareness of the addictive nature of cigarettes.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Nicotine addiction remains a major public health problem but the neural substrates of addictive behavior remain unknown. One characteristic of smoking behavior is impulsive choice, selecting the immediate reward of smoking despite the potential long-term negative consequences. This suggests that drug users, including cigarette smokers, may be more sensitive to rewards and less sensitive to punishment. Methods We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to test the hypothesis that smokers are more responsive to reward signals and less responsive to punishment, potentially predisposing them to risky behavior. We conducted two experiments, one using a reward prediction design to elicit a Medial Frontal Negativity (MFN) and one using a reward- and punishment-motivated flanker task to elicit an Error Related Negativity (ERN), ERP components thought to index activity in the cortical projection of the dopaminergic reward system. Results and conclusions The smokers had a greater MFN response to unpredicted rewards, and non-smokers, but not smokers, had a larger ERN on punishment motivated trials indicating that smokers are more reward sensitive and less punishment sensitive than nonsmokers, overestimating the appetitive value and underestimating aversive outcomes of stimuli and actions.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.09.773 · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Given increases in nondaily smoking and alternative tobacco use among young adults, we examined the nature of change of various tobacco product use among college students over a year and predictors of use at one-year follow-up. Methods: An online survey was administered to students at six Southeast colleges and universities (N = 4,840; response rate = 20.1%) in Fall 2010, with attempts to follow up in Fall 2011 with a random subsample of 2,000 participants (N = 718; response rate = 35.9%). Data were analyzed from 698 participants with complete data regarding tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol use over a one-year period, perceived harm of tobacco use, and schemas of a “smoker” (as per the Classifying a Smoker Scale). Results: Baseline predictors of current smoking at follow-up included being White (p = .001), frequency of smoking (p < .001), alternative tobacco use (p < .001), and perceived harm of smoking (p = .02); marginally significant predictors included marijuana use (p = .06) and lower scores on the Classifying a Smoker Scale (p = .07). Baseline predictors of current smoking at follow-up among baseline nondaily smokers included more frequent smoking (p = .008); lower Classifying a Smoker Scale score was a marginally significant predictor (p = .06). Baseline predictors of alternative tobacco use at follow-up included being male (p = .007), frequency of smoking (p = .04), alternative tobacco use (p < .001), and frequency of alcohol use (p = .003); marginally significant predictors included marijuana use (p = .07) and lower perceived harm of smokeless tobacco (p = .06) and cigar products (p = .08). Conclusions: Tobacco control campaigns and interventions might target schemas of a smoker and perceived risks of using various tobacco products, even at low levels.
    Substance Use &amp Misuse 10/2014; DOI:10.3109/10826084.2014.958858 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As drugs remain ubiquitous and their use increasingly viewed as socially normative, vulnerable population groups such as adolescents face continued and growing risk. A better understanding of the factors that discourage individuals from initiating drug use, particularly in enabling scenarios, is therefore needed. This study aims to identify individual, interpersonal and school-contextual factors associated with resistance to using drugs in the presence of a drug use opportunity among adolescents in Bogotá, Colombia.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 01/2015; 25. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.01.015 · 3.28 Impact Factor