Light smoking is becoming more and more prevalent among young women in the US today as advertisers are becoming more misleading by associating independence, sophistication, and attractiveness to smoking.
The study, published by the CDC in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease surveyed more than 9, 700 women aging 18 and 25 years old, revealed that amidst the fact that smoking is harmful to one’s health at any level, light smoking is becoming more attractive to young women emerging to adulthood. It can be attributed to the new campaign strategy of tobacco companies, carefully developed to lure young women to the habit of smoking.
The study revealed that among the young-adult-female smokers who were interviewed about 62% are very light smokers, 26% are light smokers, and 10% are moderate to heavy smokers. Among the very light smokers 71% are non-daily smokers.
Among the more than 9,700 respondents, 41% never smoked, 28% are former smokers and 30% are current smokers. The study also discovered that those who never smoked are less likely to report psychological stress and depression in the recent months. Also non-smokers are also less likely to use illegal drugs or binge drink, as they see smoking as a threat to their health.
The study also suggest that smoking cessation programs should also address the case of young female light smokers, or those who smoke not more than 5 sticks of cigarettes a day, considering that they are young, or from a minority group, or that if they have college education.
The study likewise revealed that light smokers were no different to other smokers. They also have the tendency to abuse other substances (i.e. alcohol) and that they have poor psychological adjustment.
The researchers also add, that light smokers are more likely to recognize the risks of smoking compared to moderate and heavy smokers. However, unlike other type of smokers, light smokers are less likely to admit nicotine dependence.
Taking into consideration that light smoking is becoming more common and growing concern among young women around the world, the researchers tried to discover how the characteristics of these women differ from those who never smoked or had quit smoking. This would lead to better smoking cessation interventions, considering the individual differences like psychological adjustment, socio-demographic factors, and the individual attitudes toward smoking, etc.
The study was consistent with previous findings that women are more likely to engage in light and sporadic smoking than daily and heavy smoking. A characteristic that is very common among light smokers.
This only give more weight to the need for a more responsive programs to address the unique profile of light female smokers emerging to adulthood.