STUDENTS SMOKING HABITS AND GENDER | Homework Market Help

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.0  Background of the Study

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Various studies have attested to the harmful impacts of smoking. Most  studies have considered cigarette smoking as a major health hazard. It is among key  preventable contributions of untimely morbidity, death, and mortality globally. It is evident that the longer an individual smokes the greater the risks he or she faces. Tobacco has nicotine, which is a highly aIDictive substance. Approximately 5 million lives are lost yearly because of cigarette smoking. With the current trends of tobacco smoking, the mortality and morbidity rates are expected to double by the year 2020 (Austoni, Mirone & Parazzini 2005). This implies that 10 million lives will be lost annually, of which 7 million lives will be lost in developing nations.

Studies have shown that many smokers commence smoking under the age of 18 years and during their adolescence. Under-18s and adolescents are easily influenced by their social normalcy, tobacco advertisements, and peers. The younger an individual begins to smoke, the greater the chances of becoming a regular smoker later in life (Biasco & Hartnett 2002). Many individuals, in their  adolescence, begin smoking usually with simple smoking experiences before becoming a regular smoker. Approximately a third of people who experienced smoking before the age of 18 years will become daily smokers. On the other hand, about two thirds of those who experienced smoking before the age of 18 years will become regular smokers.

The exposure to peer, teacher, and parent’s smoking, perceived ease of contact with cigarettes, and cigarette promotions are all major predictors of being vulnerable to smoking (Khader & Alsadi 2008). The youths who attribute positive traits to smokers are more likely to be vulnerable to smoking and become regular smokers. Various factors play a crucial role in initiating smoking behavior. Some of the factors include gender, low grades, exposure to peer and parent’s smoking, type of school, pocket money, seeking attention, coolness, and feeling mature. According to previous studies, these factors are linked to the traditions, culture, and other aspects of a country.

In many developing nations, accurate data is not available on the prevalence and incidence of smoking among students. Obtaining this information is the first step in the implementation and planning of anti-smoking programs. In many countries,  few investigations have been conducted to examine why students smoke (Khurshid & Ansari 2012). Few studies have also examined how gender influences students to engage in smoking.

1.1 Aims and Objectives

            Despite the warnings printed on every pack of cigarettes, many people still smoke. Besides heart diseases and lung cancer, smoking causes impotence, wrinkles, strokes, proneness to diabetes, and memory loss among other effects. It is oID  for students who are aware of these effects to engage in smoking behavior despite being warned. There seems to be a certain element in smoking that lures students towards it. This together with gender of students has not been examined by previous studies. In this regard, this research examines student smoking behavior and gender. The study used the following research questions in order to fulfill its objectives:

  1. What are the causes of smoking among students?
  2. Are students smoking to overcome psychological stress?
  3. Do gender roles influence smoking behavior among students?
  4. Do students use smoking as a tool for socialization?

1.2 Significance of Study

            The study is based on the motivating factors which cause students to smoke. This oblique approach examines the psychological factors that inspire or influence students to smoke. Much of the investigation has been conducted on the topic of youth smoking. The research focused on various factors encouraging smoking. If the causes of this problem can be identified,  student-smoking behavior can be handled. As such, this study is a pure root-cause examination of the various reasons students has in the mind to be smoker.

The results of research will increase the awareness of parents, school administration, and teachers concerning one of the significant issues of students and teenagers. As such, they can assist students or teenagers more efficiently. This will allow student smokers to overcome the smoking habit. The various effects of smoking behavior revealed by the study can be aIDed to the curriculum and teachers can deliver lectures on this sensitive issue affecting youths in general.

1.3 Research Structure

            This chapter provided an insight to the background knowledge and objectives of the research. The second chapter, literature review, offers some of the prior and existing literatures that have discussed smoking behavior among students. The third chapter, research methodology, provides a detailed overview of the research methods. The research methods chapter comprises the study design and its justifications in relation to attaining the objectives of the study. The interpretations and findings chapter provides the analysis and presentation of the gathered data from the study. In aIDition, this chapter interprets the collected data based on the research objectives. The fifth chapter, the conclusions chapter, concludes by summarizing the entire report.

1.4 Conclusion

            In summary, this study attempts to assess the students smoking behavior and gender roles. The following chapter provides  detailed knowledge about the smoking behavior among students.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0  Introduction

One of the striking trends of behavior of students in the world during the 1990s was the increase in smoking incidences (Louie 2001). Student smoking began rising abruptly in 1992 after progressively declining over the previous  decade. Teenage smoking in the United States had increased by about a third by 1997. This trend is especially striking in relation to the progressive decline in adult smoking in the US. In fact, the present smoking rate among youths is approximately 50 per cent greater than the smoking rate of adults. This striking trend has encouraged public-policy interest in student smoking. According to Ross (2009), the anti-smoking  policy arises out of the concern that students and youths are not aware of the long-term effects of their smoking decisions. Louie (2001), in his research, cited that young smokers apparently underestimate the possibility that they will still be smoking in their early 20s and beyond. For instance, among high school seniors who used to smoke, about 56 per cent claimed that they would have stopped smoking in five years . However, Smith-Simone et al. (2008), in their study, found out that only 31 per cent of them stopped smoking after the five years. In aIDition, the smoking rate of those who said they would stop but have not stopped five years later has increased.

The fact that student or youth smoking results in adult smoking, especially in a way that is underappreciated by the young smokers, has a drastic effect on the health of the future population. Illnesses related to smoking are the leading preventable contribution of death in many countries. Averagely, male smokers live about 6.5 years less than nonsmokers. On the other hand, females live about 5.7 years less than female non-smokers. As such, it is crucial to comprehend the role played by the public policy in preventing youths from smoking. Despite this concern and interest, the public does not understand very well the implications or determinants of students smoking behavior. This sections attempts to discuss student smoking behavior and gender roles.

2.1 Gender Roles and Smoking Behavior

According to Austoni, Mirone and Parazzini (2005), the prevalence of smoking is patterned by gender.  In the early 19th century, the consumption of tobacco was immensely restricted to males. Smoking prevalence among men rapidly increased by the mid-20th century, whereas the percentage of female smokers was still low. In 1970s, men attained their highest level of smoking pervasiveness across most countries in Europe. In fact, the gender gap in the consumption of cigarettes has widened  since that time. This is because smoking among females has been rapidly increasing since 1920s. The gap in smoking pervasiveness among men and women has constantly declined in many countries since the 1970s. Men are still supposed to have the highest prevalence of tobacco use. However, some recent researches showed that higher percentage of women smoke. Most  female smokers belong to the younger age groups (Khader & Alsadi 2008).

Various studies have attempted to explain the gender differences in smoking behavior among students. The most popular studies refer to gender equality and diffusion. On the one hand, the lack of gender equality resulted in a later increase in the prevalence of female smokers by social disproval of female smoking. The increase in gender equality because of the emancipation had resulted in the adaptation of the initially male smoking behavior by females. Biasco and Hartnett (2002) point out that female smoking prevalence has increased because females have been exposed to the world of men’s opinion and habits. Empirical investigations reveal inconsistent outcomes for the relationship between smoking and gender roles. However, the notion that women have adopted the opinions, behavior, and habits of men attempts to explain the effect of gender on student smoking behavior.

Khader and Alsadi (2008) observe that smoking, as a risky health behavior, is a masculine phenomenon. This is because of its relationship with personality traits, smoking patterns, and endorsement of hegemonic ideals. In contrast to female students, male students begin smoking at younger age. Men also smoke more cigarettes each day and inhale more deeply. Compared to female students, male students consume more products of tobacco such as  cigars, pipes, or smokeless tobacco. According to Khurshid and Ansari (2012), personality traits including rebelliousness, extroversion, antisocial tendencies, social deviance, and risk-taking are directly associated with the prevalence of smoking behavior. These personality traits are more often found among male students than female students. Louie (2001) refers to hegemonic ideals as health behaviors and beliefs of men that are the denial of vulnerability or weakness, physical and emotional control, the dismissal of any need of help, the appearance of the being robust, a continual interest in sex, and portrayal of aggressive behavior. According to Ross (2009), male students frequently use this set of health behaviors and beliefs to attain or demonstrate the perceived role of a dominant, self-reliant, and strong man. In this regard, Khurshid and Ansari (2012) pointed out that masculinity is defined by the negative health behavior because of adopting health risks such as heavy drinking, and smoking.

This poses a question as to whether the described masculine characteristics also influence smoking behavior among female students. Has the emancipation resulted in the adoption of traditionally male smoking behavior among females in general? Austoni, Mirone and Parazzini (2005) used femininity and masculinity scores to assess empirically gender differences. According to Biasco and Hartnett (2002), high masculinity scores among male and female population are associated with higher smoking risks. On the other hand, high femininity scores are not associated with smoking. In fact, Khurshid and Ansari (2012), in his investigation, did not establish any relationship between smoking among male students and femininity and masculinity scores. This analysis revealed consistent outcomes, though it provides sophisticated patterns in relation to smoking behavior and gender roles.

Ross (2009) suggested that gender differences in smoking behavior, as a health behavior, have been influenced by the interdependent impacts of underlying aspects of traditional contemporary context and gender roles. The hypothesis of gender roles modernizations reexamines the association between health behavior and gender roles in a manner that females have evolved their own way of smoking. These female smoking styles evolved from the traditional femininity roles and an increase in social acceptance of female smoking. For instance, it is documented that the control of body weight is the major reason for smoking among females. Some female students have quoted body control as their major reason to engage in this risky health behavior. Female students are more sensitive to the constitution of their body so that smoking behavior might be an acknowledged opportunity to maintain their body weight down. In aIDition, according to Khader and Alsadi (2008), female students are most likely to smoke in order to avert their stress levels, which indicate high mental sensitivity.

2.2 Conclusion

            This chapter has analyzed previous and existing literatures concerning how gender roles influence smoking prevalence among students. The fact that student or youth smoking results in adult smoking, especially in a way that is underappreciated by the young smokers, has a drastic effect on the health of the future population. Illnesses related to smoking are the leading preventable contribution of death in many countries. The prevalence of smoking is patterned by gender.  In the early 19th century, the consumption of tobacco was immensely restricted to males. Smoking prevalence among men rapidly increased by the mid-20th century, whereas the percentage of female smokers was still low. Smoking, as a risky health behavior, is a masculine phenomenon. This is because of its relationship with personality traits, smoking patterns, and endorsement of hegemonic ideals.

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

3.0  Introduction

The research methodology chapter is a crucial section to any study since it highlights the required information to analyze the validity and reliability of the research. Accordingly, providing a precise description of the research methods and its respective justification is significant in affirming the validity of this report. The research methods used are determined by the context of the research and research questions. According to Panneerselvam (2004), empirical research has the main objective of explaining the current state of affairs by deploying fixed measurement variables. As such, it is important for the research to place emphasis on the results as well as the available conceptual frameworks in order to explain how gender roles influence the prevalence of smoking behavior among students.

3.1 Research Design

            According to Panneerselvam (2004), research design refers to a general plan that highlights the required steps in attaining research objectives and answering research questions. According to Panneerselvam (2004), the research design should have precise objectives drawn from the research questions, and should highlight the sources of data. Research design involves structuring the research to specify the variables and determine the relationship between them. There are two important research designs: qualitative and quantitative design. A research can take one of the two designs or combines all of them depending on the context of the research and research questions. Qualitative design employs the evaluation and analysis of qualitative data with the main objective of answering research questions and arriving at conclusions. On the other hand, quantitative design involves the evaluation and analysis of qualitative data with the main objective of answering research questions. This research used quantitative approach to assess the influence of gender in the prevalence of smoking behavior among students. The data collected will be important in assessing the gender impacts on smoking behavior.

3.1.0 Population

            Panneerselvam (2004) defined a population as a census of all subjects of interest, which might be either finite or infinite. Consequently, population includes the entire compilation of cases from the researcher and takes the sample. The study will use a sample size of 60 students from Kaplan University, who are smokers. The sample comprises 30 female students and 30 male students.

3.1.1 Sampling techniques

            Sampling methods offer various techniques enabling the researcher to reduce the amount of data required. Sampling achieves this through considering collection of data from a subgroup, and not all the possible cases. This study will use snowball and convenience sampling. In snowball sampling, the researcher uses one participant to identify other participants. Convenience sampling is based on the availability of the individual or subject to be studied. In snowball sampling, the researcher requests one subject or respondent to refer him or her to other respondents. Snowball sampling will also be important, since some students do not smoke in public. As such, it is difficult to find them. Such smokers can only be identified via snowball sampling.

3.1.2 Data Collection and Research Instruments

            The collection of data is an important prerequisite of any study since it plays a pivotal role in influencing the success of the study (Panneerselvam 2004). Data collections achieve this by offering  various channels of arriving at conclusions. The survey will be an anonymous gathering of data with no questions relating to the consumption of cigarettes. The instrument of the study will be developing via the standardized procedure in order to offer a comfortable environment that ensures the respondents feel free giving their opinion about the sensitive factors that will be studied. Research questionnaires will be carefully drafted by asking indirect questions. This is because many students secretly engage in smoking activities and they cannot certainly admit it with the fear of school or parents (Panneerselvam 2004). As a result, no direct questions will be asked.

The research questions comprised of questions covering the main aspects of personality issues, socialization activities, concentration and personality impacts. It will be designed to judge the orientation of the respondents towards smoking and trying to reach root causes of attraction towards smoking.

3.2 Reliability and Validity of Data

            According to Panneerselvam (2004), the main objective of having reliable data is to guarantee consistent results. On the other hand, validity of the data collected ensures the integrity of the conclusions made. The research ensured that the respondents were student smokers of Kaplan University.

3.3 Limitations of this Study

Questionnaires have inherent disadvantages such as misunderstanding and misinterpretation of questions (Panneerselvam 2004). This research instrument will also pose the problem of determining the truthfulness of the information collected about smoking behavior. AIDitionally, respondents might also fear participating in this research. They might feel that the public will know about their smoking habits. These limitations increase the marginal errors in the results.

3.4 Conclusion

            This chapter has discussed the various research methodologies used in assessing the influence of gender roles smoking habits among students of Kaplan University. The study used quantitative design, which involved collecting and analyzing quantifiable data and variables in order to arrive at conclusions.

CHAPTER 4: INTERPRETATIONS AND FINDINGS

4.0 Introduction

            This section provides  various responses obtained from the participants. This chapter also discusses data representations and analysis. The collected data were presented using tables. The interpretation of the results will be based upon the conceptual groundwork discussed in Chapter 2. Every participant returned his or her questionnaire immediately after completing it. The response choices were recorded based on a scale ranging from -1 to +1. A score of -1 implied that the respondent disagreed. A response of 0 implied that the respondent was neutral, he or she neither agrees nor disagrees. A response of +1 implied that the respondent agreed.

4.1 Primary Data Analysis

The following table shows the factors that cause students to engage in smoking behavior. The interpretation of the results was based upon the conceptual groundwork that is discussed in Chapter 2, and was done within consideration of the aims and objectives of the research. Every factor has  questions attributed to it.

Factor Questions
Personality Q 12, Q 2
Social Networking Q 3
Taste and Feel Q 4,
Psychological (Anger management and Stress) Q 5, Q 6
Weight Control Q 7
Stimulant affect/ concentration Q 8, Q 9
Rejection (health, social and feel) Q 10
Inspiration Q 11

 

4.1.0 What are the causes of smoking among students?

The table below shows the interpreted collected data from the participants. The standard deviation was used to show the difference of the sample population from the mean value. The response percentage column displays the percentage of respondents who agreed or disagreed that the factor influenced him or her to engage in smoking behavior.

Factor causing students to smoke Mean Standard Deviation Male Response Percentage % Female Response Percentage

%

Agree  (0>) Neutral

(0)

Disagree

(<0)

Agree

(0>)

Neutral

(0)

Disagree

(<0)

Personality traits 0.17 1.26 46 4 50 44 26 30
Social factors 0.54 0.76 79 8 13 60 3 37
Taste and feel 0.39 1.07 75 0 25 70 0 30
Psychological distress 0.88 0.92 83 4 13 89 8 3
Weight Control -0.46 0.49 0 0 100 54 23 23
Stimulant -0.52 1.12 60 10 30 57 13 30
Inspiration -0.27 0.81 54 21 25 50 25 25
Rejection -0.7 0.86 25 25 50 50 3 47

 

This table describes the standard deviation, mean, and percentages of agreeing or disagreeing with the factor causing students to smoke.

4.1.1 Are students smoking to overcome psychological stress?

From Table 2, it is apparent that psychological distress is the main contributing factor causing students of Kaplan University to smoke. About 83 per cent and 89 per cent of male  and female students respectively agreed that they smoke because of psychological distress. It appears that female students are more psychologically distressed than male students are. This is perhaps the main reason why the percentage of female students engaging in smoking exceeds  that of male students.

4.1.2 Does gender contribute to smoking behavior among students?

Gender significantly influences  smoking behavior among students. Issues such as weight control, which is a major concern for females, cause them to smoke. Male students rarely smoke to control their body weight. All male students disagreed that smoking controls body weight. On the other hand, 54 percent of female students affirmed that smoking controls body weight. This is because females are concerned with the constitution of their body.

4.1.3 Do students use smoking as tool for socialization?

            Students use smoking as socialization tool. From the table, 79 percent and 60 percent of male and female students respectively use smoking as a socialization tool. However, more male students than female are likely to engage in smoking as a way of seeking socialization avenues.

4.2 Conclusions

            Various factors cause students to adopt smoking behaviors. The factors male students to smoke are slightly different from those causing female students to smoke. Most of students smoke because they are psychologically distressed. Many female smokers smoke in order to control their weight. Significant number of both male and female use smoking as tool for socialization.

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0 Introduction

            Despite the warnings printed on every packet of cigarette, many people still smoke. Besides heart diseases and lung cancer, smoking causes impotence, wrinkles, strokes, proneness to diabetes, and memory loss among other effects. The study used the following research questions in order to fulfill its objectives:

  1. What are the causes of smoking among students?
  2. Are students smoking to overcome psychological stress?
  3. Do gender roles influence smoking behavior among students?
  4. Do students use smoking as tool for socialization?

5.1 Research Outcome

            The research results are consistent with the literature discussed in Chapter 2. The findings point out that the factors causing male and female students to smoke are different. It is apparent that psychological distress is the main contributing factor causing students of Kaplan University to smoke. Gender significantly influences the smoking behavior among students. Issues such weight control, which is a major concern for females, cause them to smoke.

5.2 Recommendations

            Parents, guardians, and schools should take serious measures to take care of teenage problems. Close consultancy from elders, teachers, and parents is required to keep students in the comfort zone. Smoking behavior is not an escape or hiding out from the various problems students face. Further research is required to examine its impact on the psychology, behavior and social interactions of both male and female students.

 

 

Reference List

Austoni, E, Mirone, V & Parazzini, F 2005, ‘Smoking as a risk factor for erectile dysfunction:Data from the Andrology Prevention Weeks 2001–2002. A study of the Italian Society of Andrology (S.I.A.)’, European Urology, vol. 48, no. 5, p. 810–818.

Biasco, F & Hartnett, J 2002, ‘Colleges students’ attitudes toward smoking’, College Student Journal , vol. 36, pp. 30-41.

Khader, Y & Alsadi, A 2008, ‘Smoking habits among university students in Jordan: prevalence and associated factors’, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, vol. 14, no. 4, p. 897.

Khurshid, F & A

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