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Started by Abbas Bubakar El-ta'alu, November 11, 2008, 08:20:08 AM

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Abbas Bubakar El-ta'alu

Continuation of 'Factors that influence the smoking behaviour'.

Ethnic and Cultural influences: Smoking is more popular in some cultures than in others. [Ethnic differences] found that in the United States, white youths reported the highest rates of lifetime, current, and persistent smoking at a significantly earlier age than African – Americans and Hispanics. In the United States, [ACS article] 33.4 per cent of American Indians and Alaskan Natives smoke, 22.2 per cent of whites smoke, 20.2 per cent of African Americans smoke, 15.0 per cent of Hispanics smoke, and only 11.3 per cent of Asian Americans smoke. Religion and local cultures play a significant role in the smoking prevalence in the region. Utah a predominantly Mormon state [Greenhouse systems], has a smoking rate of 12 per cent, while Kentucky, which is the second largest tobacco producing state and whose state economy is the most tobacco dependent [The Economic Impact of Tobacco Production in Appalachia], has a 31 per cent smoking rate [CDC, (2004)]. In Europe, smoking is more popular than in the United States. In Germany, 35 percent of the population smokes, and in Russia, 39 per cent of the population smokes (63 per cent of all males smoke). In the United States, the smoking rate is 22.1 per cent [Russia. (1996 – 2004), Crumley, & Bruce (January, 2003)].

Parental Smoking: Children of smoking parents are more likely to smoke than children with non – smoking parents. One study [Parental Smoking Cessation and Adolescent Smoking] found that parental smoking cessation was associated with less adolescent smoking, except when the other parent currently smoked. A current study [Taylor & Francis] tested the relation of adolescent smoking to rules regulating where adults are allowed to smoke in the home. Results showed that restrictive home smoking policies were associated with lower likelihood of trying smoking for both middle and high school students.

Smoking in Cinema Houses: Exposure to smoking in movies [Cohort; Viewing Tobacco Use] has been linked with adolescent smoking initiation in cross – sectional studies. According to a study [The incidence. (1988 - 1997)] of movies in Hollywood, eighty – seven per cent of these movies portrayed tobacco use, with an average of 5 occurrences per film.
          People associate cigarettes with specific pleasurable activities or social situations that they are not willing to give up. Famous smokers of the past used cigarettes or pipes as part of their image, such as Jean Paul Sartre's Gauloise – brand cigarettes, Bertrand Russell's pipe, or the news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow's cigarette. Writers in particular seemed to be known for smoking; see, for example, Richard Klein's book Cigarettes are Sublime for analysis of the role smoking plays in 19th and 20th century letters. British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Stalin of the Soviet Union were well known for smoking pipes in public as was Winston Churchill for his cigars.

Depression: Data from multiple studies suggest that depression plays a role in cigarette smoking (see chapter six: Background factors amenable to intervention - stress). A history of regular smoking was observed more frequently among individuals who had experienced major depressive disorder at some time in their lives than among individuals who had never experienced major depression or among individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis . Another study found that the average lifetime daily cigarette consumption was strongly related to lifetime prevalence and to prospectively assessed 1 – year prevalence of major depression. People with major depression are also much less likely to quit due to the increased risk of experiencing mild to severe states of depression, including full blown major depression [Cigarette Smoking and Major Depression]. Depressed smokers appear to experience more withdrawal symptoms on quitting, are less likely to be successful at quitting, and are more likely to relapse [Nicotine, negative effect, and depression]. The neurotransmitter system affected by cigarette smoke mirror the neurotransmitter pathways are also thought to be involved in the biological mechanisms of depression and the use of antidepressants as adjuvants to smoking – cessation treatment can enhance cessation success rates [BAL].

Fear of gaining weight: Nicotine tends to be an appetite suppressant and for this reason, fear of weight gain influences the willingness of some people to continue or start the smoking habit. A long-term data [Elliot. (November, 2006)] has shown that smoking status has limited impact on body weight. If a person quits smoking, he/she may temporarily gain an extra 1.8 to 2.3 kilograms [Samuel. (November, 2006)] and if a beginner, may lose a few kilograms.
Genetic connection: It is inconclusive if smoking is influenced by genetic factors; one study [Swan, et al. (1990)] posited that 52 per cent of the variance in smoking behaviour is attributable to heritable factors, with the other half were a function of the environment. Results of another genetic study [NIH News. (December, 2006)] bring scientists one step closer to understanding why some smokers become addicted to nicotine, the primary reinforcing ingredient of tobacco. The study not only completed the first scan of the human genome to identify genes not previously associated with nicotine dependence (or addiction), it also focused on genetic variants in previously suspected gene families.
   Smoking behaviours, including the onset of smoking, smoking persistence (current smoking versus past smoking), and nicotine addiction, cluster in families. To identify those genes that could potentially contribute to nicotine dependence scientists combined a comprehensive genome-wide scan with a more traditional approach that focuses on a limited number of candidate genes, using unrelated nicotine-dependent smokers as cases and unrelated non-dependent smokers as controls. A candidate gene has one or more variant forms, which according to current scientific evidence, appear to be linked to a genetic disease.

"It is not the strongest species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones that are more responsive to change"
                               ~ Charles Darwin ~

"You can not hold a man down without staying down with him".