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Teen Smoking Related to Gray Matter Volume – Study Says

vaping Xinteza

Teen smoking is on the rise, especially due to the popularity of vaping tobacco. And, according to a new study conducted by British and Chinese researchers, teenagers are likely attracted to smoking despite all of the warnings because of deficiencies in the gray matter volume in their brains.

The results of the study into the connection between gray matter and teen smoking were published in Nature Communications. Gray matter is a tissue in the brain and spinal cord that is made up of cell bodies, dendrites, and synapses. It is named for its pinkish-gray color, which is due to the high concentration of iron in the cell bodies. Gray matter is responsible for processing information, making decisions, and controlling movement. It is also involved in emotions, memory, and learning.

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And all of this is related to decision-making and rule breaking, so it explains why so many teens love to do whatever they are told not to do.

Teen smoking is the use of tobacco products by people under the age of 18. It is a serious public health issue that can have lasting negative consequences for the health of young people.

According to the researchers, Nicotine intake, especially in the form of cigarette smoking, is the most prevalent addictive behavior, and the leading cause of adult mortality around the world. Approximately 1 in 5 deaths and $96.8 billion in productivity losses are attributable to smoking annually in the US, and yearly cigarette-smoking-related deaths are expected to reach 8 million worldwide by 2030. Evidence suggests that cigarette smoking in childhood is associated with increased risk for psychiatric conditions and poorer cognitive function, potentially through its impact on brain development.

Trevor Robbins, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge and a co-author of the study said, “Smoking is perhaps the most common addictive behavior in the world and a leading cause of adult mortality. The initiation of a smoking habit is most likely to occur during adolescence. Any way of detecting an increased chance of this, so we can target interventions, could help save millions of lives.”

The good news is that teen smoking rates have been declining in recent years. In 2020, 13.7% of high school students reported smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days, down from 20.8% in 2011.

According to the CDC, after increasing between 2017 and 2019, current (past 30 days) use of e-cigarettes went down among middle and high school students from 2019 to 2020. About 1 of every 20 middle school students (4.7%) reported in 2020 that they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 10.5% in 2019. About 1 of every 5 high school students (19.6%) reported in 2020 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 27.5% in 2019.

As for cigarette smoking, the CDC reported that from 2011 to 2020, current (past 30 days) cigarette smoking went down among middle and high school students. Nearly 2 of every 100 middle school students (1.6%) reported in 2020 that they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 4.3% in 2011. Nearly 5 of every 100 high school students (4.6%) reported in 2020 that they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 15.8% in 2011.

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