Response to Post
Thank you for sharing this insightful post on tobacco use among adolescents in Massachusetts. I concur with you that tobacco is a major healthcare problem that should be promptly addressed to protect the future generations. According to Jasinska, Zorick, Brody and Stein (2014), tobacco contains addictive nicotine which makes it difficult for the users to quit smoking. In adolescents, smoking is considered as a popular culture which creates a sense of belonging. Based on developmental studies, it is believed that adolescents are relatively insecure thus rely on group decisions to influence their actions. In your view, how can parents and guardians ensure that their teenage children identify with constructive groups? I would also like you to point out the boundary of authoritarianism and authoritative parenting in relation to regulating the smoking culture among teenage children.
You have pointed out the need for counseling which I also believe can help to address the smoking problem among adolescents. In the recent past, I noticed that adolescents are actually embracing e-cigarettes as alternatives to the traditional cigarettes. There are many benefits that are cited in support of e-cigarettes. However, I believe that the fact that they contain nicotine makes them as dangerous as conventional cigarettes (Jasinska, Zorick, Brody & Stein, 2014). I am particularly concerned about the role of cigarettes in predisposing the minors to mental health problems and cancer. I actually lost a teenage friend to lung cancer which was linked to his smoking culture. In spite of the multiple instances when Bob was counselled out of smoking the e-cigarettes, he could not overcome the addiction. This makes me to believe that pharmacological interventions would be more effective in the fight against e-cigarettes compared to the psychological interventions (Aubin, Luquiens & Berlin, 2014). How best would we harmonize the pharmacological and psychological approaches to fighting nicotine addiction among the adolescents? Thank you.
1. Aubin, H., Luquiens, A., & Berlin, I. (2014). Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation: pharmacological principles and clinical practice. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology, 77(2), 324-336. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12116
2. Jasinska, A., Zorick, T., Brody, A., & Stein, E. (2014). Dual role of nicotine in addiction and cognition: A review of neuroimaging studies in humans. Neuropharmacology, 84(2014), 111-122. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.02.015