Despite efforts to prevent the onset of smoking, the rate among older children remains high. In this article, the authors report on a longitudinal, qualitative study of 11- to 16-year-old children describing children's construction of what it means to be a smoker, the reasons given for children smoking, and their views of smoking behavior. Findings indicate that children adopt broad interpretations of what constitutes smoking behavior; although they strongly disapprove of children who smoke, they are less disapproving of older children or adult smokers and are increasingly tolerant of smoking behavior as they get older. Children's disapproval of smoking acts as a protective mechanism against smoking for younger participants. Participants' broad interpretation of what it means to be a cigarette smoker, their association of smoking with adulthood, and their increasing tolerance of and exposure to smoking behavior as they move into adolescence appears to increase susceptibility to becoming cigarette smokers.
Treacy, M. P., Hyde, A., Boland, J., Whitaker, T., Abaunza, P. S., & Stewart-Knox, B. J. (2007). Children talking: Emerging perspectives and experiences of cigarette smoking. Qualitative Health Research, 17(2), 238-249. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732306297679