Let’s be honest, how many of you tried cigarettes in your youth? I did. I was what you called a social smoker, but I quit before high school graduation. It’s common knowledge cigarettes are bad for your health; however, a new study focuses specifically on how the adolescent brain is impacted by smoking. The UCLA study reveals that teen nicotine addiction negatively affects brain function, specifically activity in prefrontal cortex.
Many teenagers have difficulties making decisions. It’s a time of life in between adulthood and childhood, and peers have a heavy influence. Unfortunately, nicotine addiction only makes the situation worse. EurekAlert! explains:
This study was funded by Philip Morris. A previous UCLA study funded by the tobacco industry raised controversy for animal testing and teen smoking. This 2008 study was also led by London. Join Together reports:
The tobacco giant’s own anti-smoking campaigns have been proven largely ineffective and the company still profits from teenage smoking. ”Philip Morris earns more revenue from cigarettes smoked by American kids than all other tobacco companies combined and its youth-generated revenue actually increased from 1997 to 2002,” according to Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids . Although it is interesting the current study was also funded by Philip Morris, it should not detract from the results. Nicotine is a powerful drug on teenage brains, which already (by hormonal nature) have trouble making rational decisions.