It seems there is a trend across the country of late. The popular crowd in high school is becoming much more likely to be smokers. A recent study found that popular students were much more likely to smoke than unpopular students.
Surprising for sure. I can remember back to my high school days. I would estimate easily half of our cheerleaders smoked and the most popular were smokers.
Despite marginal declines in smoking, popularity is a strong predictor of smoking behavior," said Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Valente and his team surveyed 1,950 students in the ninth and tenth grades in October of 2006 and 2007. Students were asked if they had ever smoked, how many students their age they believed to be smokers, how often in the last 30 days they had smoked, how they believed their close friends felt about smoking, and who their five best friends were. Popularity was calculated by how often participants mentioned a student as a friend.
So what is the cause? Could it be the new generation of young attractive Hollywood smokers? Emma Roberts, Natalie Portman, Miley Cyrus and Kristen Stewart among others? I certainly think it is an influence for sure.