Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Does smoking makes you look cool? Think again...

Recent survey has revealed that teenagers, who pick up smoking at early stage, are more likely to develop hearing disorders and they will have difficulty concentrating in their studies. Smoking at teenage will also hamper the growth of their brain.

As per an article published in the ‘New Scientist’ titled as ‘Teenage smokers risk badly wired brains’, quotes the study of Leslie Jacobsen of Yale University School of Medicine and his colleagues who had used diffusion tensor imaging, which measures how water diffuses through brain tissue to study the affect of smoking in teens. The study reveals that the development of the brain could be hampered due to smoking in teenage.

Researchers found that young smokers, particularly boys, are more likely to suffer from hearing disorders. Brain is particularly vulnerable to the effects of tobacco during adolescence, the time when it is rapidly maturing. Some young smokers suffer from hearing problems and also find it hard to concentrate in their studies. The teens studied were a group of young students, aged between 14 and 19. The changes found in the regions responsible for relaying signals to the ear, were greatest in the smokers, suggesting the brain is at heightened risk while maturing during adolescence.

Study also points out that teenagers who smoke, or whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, are also more likely to suffer from auditory attention deficits, meaning they find it difficult to concentrate on what is being said, when other things are happening at the same time. It may be pertinent to mention here that smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to some eight lakh deaths in India every year.

Issues like portrayal of smoking as cool, easy availability of cigarettes around educational institutions, message of smoking getting reinforced in films, advertisements, attracts many young ones towards smoking. In fact, many surveys carried out by many NGOs across India have time and again reflected the issue of increasing trend of smoking among youngsters and teen smokers picking up their first cigarette very early in age and its impact on them. The above study once again brings the same issue in debate and calls for some action. Though study has been carried out in US and not in India, but still it corroborates the fact that we need stringent action on issue of smoking, especially among teens

Contributed by anil gulati

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good one