Playground trade 'drives smoking'
Breaking up illicit playground trading in cigarettes is a key to cutting smoking among the young, a study says.
Youngsters' access to cigarettes is often through peer networks at school, suggests research drawing on the habits of 9,000 young smokers.
The study from the Institute of Education, University of London, says efforts to stop smoking should tackle such "social sources" of cigarettes.
Researchers say this would reduce the "visibility" of smoking in young lives.
The study from the institute's Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre looks at how to interrupt the process by which youngsters take up smoking.
The report, Young People's Access to Tobacco, examined how young people were likely to obtain tobacco from their peers.
Looking across the evidence of six studies, the researchers found that particular groups such as "occasional smokers", children in their early teens and girls were especially likely to be introduced to smoking through social groups at school.
This could be groups of friends who shared cigarettes - but it could also be youngsters who sold cigarettes at school for profit.
If we can begin to tackle this visibility, this is likely to reduce smoking rates”
Such trading in cigarettes, whether for money or friendship, was seen as important in "bonding" among peer groups.
The study, headed by Katy Sutcliffe, says that "tough school policies" which can intervene to stop such tobacco markets were likely to help prevent youngsters from developing smoking habits.
"In many schools, children were found to share cigarettes quite openly, and some sell them to other students for profit," the institute reports.
There were other preferred routes to cigarettes for other groups, the study says.
Older children, boys and those with more developed smoking habits were more likely to get tobacco from shops, either in person or by asking someone else to buy for them.
These were identified as being more likely to be sweet shops, newsagents and convenience stores, rather than supermarkets.
The report argues that if schools can disrupt the exchange of tobacco among youngsters it will reduce the "visibility" of smoking in their lives - and this should make it less likely that children will take up smoking.
"If we can begin to tackle this visibility, this is likely to reduce smoking rates, which, in turn, will further reduce the visibility of the peer market in school and the socialising opportunities that the peer market provides," says the report.Resources: Playground trade 'drives smoking'
- More news from this category
World stands up against Monsanto: Over 400 cities protest GMOs24.05.2015, 06:07 RT.com
Tiny $9 computer CHIP rocks Kickstarter, promising tons of free apps24.05.2015, 02:56 RT.com
‘Is this white enough for you?’ Dutch immigrant children rally against segregation23.05.2015, 23:46 RT.com
Train derails while navigating bridge in India, multiple injuries (VIDEO)23.05.2015, 23:16 RT.com
Bee-friendly: World’s first ‘bumblebee highway’ opened in Norway23.05.2015, 19:45 RT.com
- Similar news
Authorities to limit smoking even more in Latvia21.05.2015, 16:03 BNN-news.com
Russia refuses to join major arms trade treaty citing document’s weakness18.05.2015, 17:02 RT.com
Ebola: Early calls for help 'ignored' says MSF23.03.2015, 03:31 BBC News.co.uk
World Rugby Sevens: England women seal GB's Olympic place20.03.2015, 03:26 BBC News.co.uk
Apple's Tim Cook offered liver to dying boss Steve Jobs13.03.2015, 12:29 BBC News.co.uk