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Teen Smoking: Why Do They Do It? Study Finds Bad Brain Development.

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Teen Smoking: Why Do They Do It? Study Finds Bad Brain Development.

(CTN News) – While tobacco use among teens has declined in recent years, Teen Smoking e-cigarettes continue to boost rates. Nearly one in four high school students report using tobacco products in the last 30 days, according to the CDC.

Teen culture remains tobacco-centric. Part of this is just due to the fact that young brains aren’t fully developed-and the parts of the brain that are designed to control impulses and assess risks properly just haven’t matured yet.

Researchers are learning which specific parts of the brain are undercooked during adolescence—which may provide the key to reversing some of these trends and reducing teen smoking rates.

Researchers from Britain and China found a link between gray matter volume in the brain and adolescent smoking desire in Nature Communications on Tuesday. Also, it seems to affect how strong nicotine addiction is.

The new study was co-authored by Trevor Robbins, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge and a co-author of the study.

The onset of a Teen Smoking habit is most likely to occur during adolescence. We can save millions of lives if we can detect an increased chance of this and target interventions accordingly.”

More than 800 young people aged 14, 19, and 23 were surveyed about their Teen Smoking habits and brain imaging. In both the left and right frontal lobes, researchers found that those who began Teen Smoking by the age of 14 had significantly lower gray matter volumes.

In the human brain, there are two main types of tissue: white matter and gray matter. In the brain, the latter account for about 40 percent. It has a lot of cell bodies and dendrites that communicate with nearby neurons, helping to facilitate information processing and to facilitate quick thinking and reasoning.

The development of gray matter is especially important in fetal life–and it peaks before adolescence occurs.

As well as decision-making and rule-breaking, the left frontal is linked to the left frontal cortex. Therefore, it makes sense that people with low gray matter levels in this area may be more likely to start smoking.

Those who started smoking lost gray matter in the right frontal lobe, which indicates that hedonic motivation encourages continued smoking.

It is true that the study has some limitations. The brain imaging data were collected from people living in four European countries (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Ireland). Neurological variation may be observed outside of Western Europe, and how strongly it may be related to smoking habits is unclear.

The study doesn’t prove cause-and-effect; it just suggests a strong link between the two.

Should the link be proved out in more research, the findings could provide researchers with a better understanding of how to combat teen smoking—either by using these insights to deter teens from starting to smoke, or by enabling us to formulate a concerted intervention that helps offset the reduction in gray matter in these areas.

Teen smoking needs to be aggressively prevented in the United States because nearly one in five adults smoke.

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