UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - UKNSCC
2009 UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - London more...

Young people and smoking in England – who smokes and why?
Jennifer Fidler, Research Health Psychologist, Cancer Research UK, Health Behaviour Research Centre, London, UK


Jennifer Fidler and Amanda Amos

The Department of Health’s consultation on the future tobacco control strategy for England asked what more could the Government and other public services do to reduce smoking prevalence in young people. To help inform the consultation and subsequent policy development the Department of Health commissioned a rapid review on young people and smoking in England. This presentation summarises the review’s findings on two key issues:

1. Current patterns and trends in smoking in young people (11 to 24 years) in England by key socio-demographic variables (sex, age, socio-economic status, ethnicity) and;

2. Why young people start and continue to smoke. The review found that over the last 25 years there has been a consistent decline in smoking among 16–24 year olds, but the reduction among 11 to 15 year olds has been more gradual, plateauing in the early 2000s then accelerating in 2007.

Most young people start experimenting with smoking in early adolescence, but prevalence and consumption increases until the mid-twenties. A range of inter-related factors – individual, family, social, community and societal – influence smoking uptake. The socio-economic patterning of smoking starts to emerge in the early teens with the evidence becoming clearer in the late teens and early twenties.


About the presenter
Dr Jennifer Fidler is a Research Health Psychologist at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London. Her work there has focused on adolescent smoking behaviour, the examination of cotinine values in population level samples, and the identification of key smoking cessation indicators.


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