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Smoking among college students

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It is important to know the actual motives behind smoking before taking any kind of preventive action. Most of the people start smoking during their teenage due to peer pressure or need for approval by their friends. Some youngsters also believe that smoking actually helps them keep in shape and have self-control, while others say it makes them look cool.
According to the statistical data, the rate of smoking has increased by 30 % during 1993-1997 amongst the college students. Studies show that the measures which can be taken by the colleges authorities in order to reduce the level of smoking amongst the young students. Experts believe that taking preventive measures is better than abrupt prohibition from smoking which can cause the opposite effect on the students.
The high rate of smoking among college students can be explained by aggressive advertising and promotional activities aimed to increase the size of the market. The glamorous ads casting handsome and beautiful models, actually tempts the youngsters to smoke. Tobacco industry focuses on sales promotion more than any other industry in the world. Companies spend a huge amount of investment to reach adolescents. Adolescents, of 18-24 years, become the main target market for the tobacco industry. The companies distribute free cigarettes outside the concerts and college clubs in order to attract more and more people towards their brands. The industry has also involved the youngster in the promotional activities. These kinds of aggressive promotion activities have drawn a huge number of younger lots to smoking.
Promotional activities in bars and night clubs were started during 1980s. The level of tobacco consumption among students was indistinct, but the some field researches show that nearly every college student was involved in those promotional activities during 1990s. It has been predicted that the college students will become main consumers of tobacco in the next few years.
The tobacco companies launch their promotional campaign mostly in the urban localities, trying to trap the young consumers through various advertising medium and techniques. Even the students who don’t have enough exposure to the bars and night clubs can be influenced by the heavy advertising by different brands. For instance, Asian American students have become the main target for many promotional campaigns aiming to find new customers.
University Health Centers can help to prevent and reduce smoking rate by educating the students about the diseases caused by smoking. Smoking should also be strictly prohibited within the college premises.
Psychologists have deduced the various ways to control smoking habits within the younger students by providing different psychological treatments for quitting smoking.
They have also worked upon finding the relation between smoking and media exposure of the individuals. Further in their research works psychologists have also tried to analyze the factors which can contribute to motivate or de-motivate individuals from smoking.
The previous studies have classified smokers by their age, gender and race and have provided the statistical data accordingly. The main theme of the paper is to examine the relation which exists between smoking and factors such as the peer pressure, stress and depression.
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