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Study Finds Teenagers are Unaware of Nicotine’s Addictive Potential

According to a recent study from Canada, teen smokers are either unaware or are more apt to underestimate the addictive potential of smoking. They will only realize they are already addicted to nicotine long after they have already lacked the confidence to quite smoking. The study found that these young smokers will normally want to stop smoking a few months after they started but they wouldn’t realize that they are already hooked until they have been using cigarettes for more at least two years. While 70% of teen smokers expressed their desire to quit, only less than twenty percent of them can manage to abstain from cigarettes for a year or more.

According to Jennifer O’Loughlin, head of the study and professor at the University of Montreal, teenagers tend to easily experience dependence on nicotine with meager exposure to the substance. They will then begin to find that abstaining from smoking can be difficult even after a few months since they started the habit. “For kids, there’s no window of opportunity that you can kind of experiment with cigarettes and get away with it.”

The study covered nicotine addiction in teenagers over a period of five years and established common behavioral trends in its subjects. For instance, adolescents tend to exert serious efforts towards quiting after two and a half months since they started smoking. However, their efforts are usually for naught as they will only realize that they are addicted after two years, at which point, their confidence over their ability to nix the habit is already at an all-time low.

O’Loughlin suggests that “the reason for this inability to stop the habit may probably be attributed to the effects of smoking on the body and the brain.”

There were common stages of addiction that were established during the study. For instance, a few months after they first started smoking, the subjects declared that they have already quit the habit. However, after nine months, they were already found smoking monthly. Ten more months later, the act has escalated to becoming a weekly habit. Around the two-year point, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are already apparent.

Here at the Miramar Recovery Centers, we can help you or your child overcome your nicotine addiction so you can lead a healthier way of life. Contact our twenty-four hour helpline at 800-455-1092 today.