Teenagers struggle with quitting smoking as much as adults do, even though they have not been smoking as long, a new study finds. Teen smokers suffer almost all of the same negative psychological effects as adults when they try to quit, according to researchers at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
The researchers studied 96 teenagers. Of these, 22 were nonsmokers, 27 were smokers who continued to smoke, and 47 were smokers who did not smoke for a day. The teen smokers had about nine cigarettes per day for two years.
The study found the teens who stopped smoking for a day experienced the same withdrawal symptoms, urges to smoke, intense cravings and negative mood swings as those seen in adults, HealthDay reports.
“In terms of the subjective negative reactions and the urge reactions, their patterns look remarkably similar to adults,” senior author Suzanne Colby said in a news release. “That is really interesting because they are smoking fewer cigarettes per day and they’ve just been smokers for a shorter period of time.”
The teens craved cigarettes even when they were not confronted with triggers such as seeing a lit cigarette, the researchers note in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.