New Research on Young Women and Smoking: Two-thirds Want to Quit, but Only Three Percent Succeed
WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- In new data that point toward the power of tobacco's addictiveness, findings released today by the American Legacy Foundation show that 65% of young women smokers aged 16 to 24 want to quit smoking, but only 3% succeede
The research sheds new light on the lack of smoking cessation programs designed for young people who want to quit. The data comes from two landmark, nationally-representative surveys conducted by the American Legacy Foundation: the Legacy Media Tracking Survey (LMTS) and the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
Among the new findings -- the first of their kind -- released today:
* 25% of young women age 16-24 smoked in 2002. [LMTS data]
* 65% of young women who smoke said they were thinking of quitting within six months. [LMTS data]
* 83% of young women believed they would be able to quit if they wanted to. [LMTS data]
* 60% of young women smokers age 16-24 tried to quit during the previous year. [LMTS data]
* 25% of young women smokers succeeded for more than a week but less than one month and 28% quit for one to six months. 6% succeeded in not smoking for more than six months, but relapsed before the end of the year. [LMTS data]
* Among young women who tried to quit in the previous year, only 3% succeeded in quitting for at least a year. [LMTS data]
* Girls age 12 to 19 are more likely than boys to attempt to quit smoking (31% v. 24%). [NYTS data]
"This compelling data show that young people continue to underestimate the dangers of tobacco use, trapping many in a life of addiction, tobacco-related illness, and premature death," said Dr. Cheryl Healton, Dr.P.H., President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation. "It is encouraging that so many young women want to quit smoking, but it is tragic that so many are not successful. The dismal rate of success in quitting shows that we have much work to do to ensure that anyone who wants to quit smoking, can quit smoking.
"We know from other research that 90 percent of all adult smokers began smoking before they were 19 years old, which means that today's youth smokers are going to be tomorrow's adult smokers," she added. "And we know that tobacco-related illness is the leading cause of death for adult women. We must work harder to break the vicious cycle of initiation, addiction, and inability to quit that traps young women. It is that sense of urgency that makes the exciting new collaboration between Circle of Friends, a program of the American Legacy Foundation, and mark, the new beauty business for young women from Avon, so very important."
This is the first major corporate initiative of its kind to make such a significant commitment to reduce smoking among young women -- reaching more than 10 million young women through advertorial efforts in the meetmark magalog and at www.meetmark.com. In addition, mark Representatives will be empowered with resources on how to communicate with their peers about smoking prevention and cessation. As the exclusive retailer of the Circle of Friends Sunburst necklace, mark is taking the unique step of donating all proceeds from the sale of the necklace to the American Legacy Foundation, which in turn will dedicate the funds to additional outreach and education programs for young women.
"Building upon Avon's more than 100-year legacy and leadership in the area of women's health, mark is privileged to continue this commitment with a new generation of women who are eager to make a difference," said Deborah Fine, president of Avon Future. "The findings released today show an urgent need to support young women trying to avoid tobacco and quit smoking. Earlier research shows that when smokers -- particularly women -- are trying to quit and have support from their friends, they are 50% more likely to succeed. That's why we believe Circle of Friends and mark are going to make a real difference in the lives of young women, and we're very excited to be launching that partnership today."
About the Research:
* The Legacy Media Tracking Survey (LMTS) is an annual telephone survey of young people ages 12 to 24. The survey is used to measure youth awareness of the foundation's truth(R) campaign, and of other pro- and anti-tobacco messages. Youth are also asked about their tobacco-related
beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. The estimates presented in this document are preliminary data collected from July 2002 through January 2003, from a total sample of 6,572 youth.
* The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) is an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire, administered to 35,828 middle and high school students nationwide in the spring of 2000. The survey was developed to measure the tobacco-related beliefs, attitudes and behavior of youth, and the pro- and anti-tobacco influences to which they are exposed. The findings presented here are from the latest First Look Report: Youth Tobacco Cessation: Results from the 2000 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
A detailed fact sheet listing all the major findings is available at www.americanlegacy.org
About the American Legacy Foundation and Circle of Friends:
The American Legacy Foundation is the national, independent public health foundation established as a result of the 1998 tobacco settlement. The foundation is dedicated to reducing tobacco use in the United States with major initiatives reaching youth, women, and priority populations through grants, research, marketing and communications programs, training, and strategic partnerships. Circle of Friends is a national grassroots movement from the American Legacy Foundation to show support for women struggling to quit smoking, and to highlight the toll of tobacco-related disease on American women, their families and communities. Visit www.join-the-circle.org or www.americanlegacy.org for more information.