Teen Smoking Survey 2011

Survey of 78 teenagers (19 and under) who smoke already

Reasoning for the survey:

I’ve noted an increase in the number of teens who appear to be smoking but maybe it’s my old age that has me noticing this. My interest is when there are no cigarette ads in print, radio or on TV or even at places where they are sold. There are however plenty of ads to stop smoking. Yet teens are smoking, getting access to cigarettes and seem to be choosing particular brands. I also wanted to see what influences them to start and stop smoking.

    Some stats I found interesting are:

  • 64% cited peer pressure/friends that smoke as the reason they started
  • 59% spend up to ten euros a week on cigarettes, 13% twenty euros or more
  • Cigarettes would get priority over food, clothes and other items. Credit seems to be the one that teens would least prioritise cigarettes over.
  • Half of the teens had parents who knew they smoked
  • Anti-smoking ads don’t have a proper impact
  • 47% would choose a brand because a friend smokes it
  • Money was as big a motivator as health to give up smoking. Only a small amount of the teenagers mentioned cancer directly as a reason.

92% were 16 to 19

Reasons to start smoking:
Multiple options for answers
64% cited peer pressure/friends that smoke
28% cited stress relief
19% cited a way to lose weight

When do teenagers smoke?
Multiple options for answers
69% out socially
54% whenever they feel like it
29% when stressed

Cigarette spend
59% spend up to ten euros a week
15% spend up to fifteen euros
13% up to twenty euros
13% twenty euros or more

Choosing your brand
41% choose based on quality
23% smoke the brand they first tried
22% choose based on price
14% due to their friends smoked that brand

Popular brands teens smoke/tried
(multiple options allowed)
85% Marlboro
56% John Player
46% others inc Benson and Hedges, Silk Cut, Lucky Strike
23% Carrolls
23% Kings

Cigarettes get priority over
Multiple choices and multiple weightings were allowed but it seems teenagers would happily do without food, clothes, music and possibly even credit to feed their smoking habits, though phone credit appeared to be the most important of the options

Cigarettes smoked per day
56% smoke up to five
(44% five or more per day)
23% smoke ten or more
21% up to ten

Friend’s influence
47% would choose a brand because a friend smokes it
53% would not

Parents know they smoke
50% yes, 50% no

81% of teens would continue to smoke if their parents/guardians found out

Anti-smoking ads direct impact
15% are affected
42% are affected but ignore them
42% are not affected

Does a friend’s negative opinion matter?
72% say friend’s negative opinion about smoking doesn’t concern them
28% do

Do these teen smokers want to stop?
55% don’t
45% do

Answers to why do they want to give up smoking:
12 cited money reasons, 12 cited health reasons, 3 cited the smell, 3
cited cancer