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Part 2: A Study of Teenage Girls and Smoking

A study involving approximately 3,000 teenage girls in Britain and Canada aged between 11 and 18 years shows how smoking feeds on the insecurities of young girls. About 20% of the sample surveyed in the study smoked, with the habit most prevalent amongst girls aged 15 and 16 years. Published in the Post Graduate Medical Journal, the report showed that those who smoked cigarettes were 30% more likely to be overweight and prone to over-eating. Interestingly enough, it is these girls that tend to be the most image-conscious, being twice as likely as their peers to worry about their body shape.The disturbing message contained in a report like this is that so many teenage girls were experiencing angst at what they considered their unsatisfactory body image. This may not be surprising when you take into account that they are constantly bombarded by the unrealistic images of perfection in advertising and the media in general. What is more distressing is the seemingly conscious decision that they are better to smoke and keep off a few kilograms or pounds of weight at the cost of doing serious long-term damage to their health. This may be why this group appears so resistant to the antismoking message.