Next 4 Sources

Sutfin, E.L., Sparks, A., Pockey, J. R., Suerken, C.K., Reboussin, B. A., Wagoner, K. G., . . . Wolfson, M. (2015). First tobacco product tried: Associations with smoking status and demographics amongcollege studentsAddictive Behaviors, 51(0306-4603), 152-157. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.07.022

This journal article is about an internet survey-based study, used to determine which tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, etc.) college students began their tobacco use with as well as how demographics effected first tobacco use.  This study led to several conclusions about what can lead to a person becoming addicted.  Men and women typically use tobacco in different ways, and one third of people begin using tobacco in the form of cigarettes.  “While education is negatively associated with cigarette smoking, McMillen and colleagues found that higher education was associated with having tried hookah, snus, or electronic cigarettes.”  I found this article to be very interesting because it explored different factors that affect smoking habits that I had not previously thought of.  I had not thought of the difference between the common habits of men vs. women.  I had also not heard much about the difference between the different devices used, but I enjoyed reading about how “certain tobacco products may facilitate escalation to future cigarette smoking.”  I think this may be a strong source for me to use.

Little, A. K., Sher, K. J. (2011, September 22). Study Shows Keys to Why People Start Smoking. McClatchy – Tribune Business News, Retrieved from

This source is a newspaper article written about a long-term study that attempted to find out why people start and stop smoking.  Their findings showed that (especially in younger people who start smoking around the age of 18) the majority of people who start smoking do so because they are naturally more impulsive and neurotic than is normal.  The reason that many of these people are able to quit as they grow older is because those traits tend to dissipate as they progress in years.  “By analyzing data collected during a long-term study, Andrew K. Littlefield, doctoral student in psychology, and Kenneth J. Sher, professor of psychology, have found that people who smoke at age 18 have higher rates of impulsivity than non-smokers at that age.”  This article was helpful to me because it pinpointed some of the personality traits that can lead to a person beginning regular tobacco use.  This article talks about how impulsivity and neuroticism contribute to the desire to start using tobacco and that was helpful to me, but this article was quite brief and did not talk about much else, so it was not as helpful as I had hoped.

Cremers, H., Mercken, L., de Vries, H., & Oenema, A. (2015). A Longitudinal Study on Determinants of the Intention to Start Smoking Among Non-Smoking Boys and Girls of High and Low Socioeconomic Status. BioMed Central, 15(648). doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1917-9

This article assesses boys and girls from both high- and low-socioeconomic status neighborhoods in order to determine what types of factors influence the childrens’ intent to start smoking.  The study showed that Children from high-socioeconomic status neighborhoods were most influenced to think about or actually start smoking by positive attitudes towards smoking while children from low-socioeconomic status are more influence by social norms ( the fact that smoking is more socially acceptable in these areas.  This article could prove to be very helpful to me because it focuses on what can directly influence what causes children to want to start smoking, which is exactly what I am looking for!  I was surprised to learn how these different factors generally influence a particular area and demographic more than others.  “The results indicated that positive attitudes toward smoking were related to the intention to smoke among HSES boys, whereas HSES girls had higher intentions to smoke if they perceived fewer disadvantages of smoking (OR: 0.42; 95 % CI: 0.22–0.82). The intention to smoke among LSES boys was predicted by perceived social norms (OR: 0.49; 95 % CI: 0.25–0.93); in LSES girls, the smoking behavior of people in their environment was most strongly related to their smoking intention (OR: 5.55; 95 % CI: 2.81–10.93).”

Brooks, A. (1998, August 8). Teenage Girls Start Smoking to Lose Weight. BMJ, Retrieved from

This article argues that teenage girls begin smoking because they perceive themselves to be overweight.  They start smoking because it supposedly makes the smoker less hungry.  The average girl studied lost 7 kg or more as a result of smoking.  This article was very short but it got to the point.  It pin pointed the reason that many people (particularly young girls) start smoking.  I had heard from a friend who smokes that he often forgets to eat because smoking seems to satisfy his hunger, and this article reinforced that idea.  “One in four girls said . . . that they used smoking ‘instead of eating.'”  I believe that I will be able to incorporate this article in my final paper.

First Two Sources

My first source for this research project is an education curriculum that focuses on the history, making, and facts of cigarette smoking as well as why people smoke (this is the main tie to my research), titled “From the First to Last Ash: The History, Economics & Hazards of Tobacco.” This short curriculum was found online and was funded in 1993 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health grant to The Cambridge Tobacco Education Program, Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs.  It provides insight on why people begin smoking.

My second source is a journal article from Volume 50 of Addictive Behaviors titled “The Impact of Early Life Stress on Risk of Tobacco Smoking Initiation by Adolescents.”  This article was written by researchers who conducted an experiment using children 3-7 years old to see if they could find out which types of stress could trigger the initiation of tobacco use in adolescents.  These researchers are trying to figure out what causes people to start smoking, so I found this article to be quite helpful.

Possible Research Topics

  1. Does physical activity effect how well college students perform in the classroom? Does being physically active on a regular basis help students? And what are the effects of a sedentary lifestyle? Also, do college level athletics have a negative or positive effect on classroom performance?
  2. Why do so many people today see feminism in a negative light? Is it because people have misconstrued what they have seen on various media platforms or is there something to all these negative views?  I want to see what kind of effect this movement and similar movements have on society as a whole.  Do these movements help us to fix problems within our society or do they create more than they help to fix?
  3. Why do people continue to do harmful activities such as smoking?  What makes people want to start smoking when the side effects are supposedly very well known?  And is vaping really a better alternative and why do people vape when there are so many unknowns to go along with it?