Anxious adults vs. cool children: children's views on smoking and addiction

J Rugkasa, Barbara J. Stewart-Knox, J Sittlington, O Kennedy, M Treacy, P Abaunza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tobacco addiction represents a major public health problem, and most addicted smokers take up the habit during adolescence. We need to know why. With the aim of gaining a better understanding of the meanings smoking and tobacco addiction hold for young people, 85 focused interviews were conducted with adolescent children from economically deprived areas of Northern Ireland. Through adopting a qualitative approach within the community rather than the school context, the adolescent children were given the opportunity to freely express their views in confidence. Children seem to differentiate conceptually between child smoking and adult smoking. Whereas adults smoke to cope with life and are thus perceived by children as lacking control over their consumption, child smoking is motivated by attempts to achieve the status of cool and hard, and to gain group membership. Adults have personal reasons for smoking, while child smoking is profoundly social. Adults are perceived as dependent on nicotine, and addiction is at the core of the children's understanding of adult smoking. Child smoking, on the other hand, is seen as oriented around social relations so that addiction is less relevant. These ideas leave young people vulnerable to nicotine addiction. It is clearly important that health promotion efforts seek to understand and take into account the actions of children within the context of their own world-view to secure their health. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
LanguageEnglish
Pages593-602
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume53
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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addiction
smoking
Smoking
nicotine
Nicotine
nicotine addiction
Addiction
adolescent
Northern Ireland
Health Promotion
Smoke
group membership
health promotion
Social Relations
adolescence
Habits
Tobacco
habits
Public Health
public health

Cite this

Rugkasa, J., Stewart-Knox, B. J., Sittlington, J., Kennedy, O., Treacy, M., & Abaunza, P. (2001). Anxious adults vs. cool children: children's views on smoking and addiction. Social Science and Medicine, 53(5), 593-602.
Rugkasa, J ; Stewart-Knox, Barbara J. ; Sittlington, J ; Kennedy, O ; Treacy, M ; Abaunza, P. / Anxious adults vs. cool children: children's views on smoking and addiction. In: Social Science and Medicine. 2001 ; Vol. 53, No. 5. pp. 593-602.
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Rugkasa, J, Stewart-Knox, BJ, Sittlington, J, Kennedy, O, Treacy, M & Abaunza, P 2001, 'Anxious adults vs. cool children: children's views on smoking and addiction', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 593-602.

Anxious adults vs. cool children: children's views on smoking and addiction. / Rugkasa, J; Stewart-Knox, Barbara J.; Sittlington, J; Kennedy, O; Treacy, M; Abaunza, P.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 53, No. 5, 2001, p. 593-602.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Rugkasa J, Stewart-Knox BJ, Sittlington J, Kennedy O, Treacy M, Abaunza P. Anxious adults vs. cool children: children's views on smoking and addiction. Social Science and Medicine. 2001;53(5):593-602.