Research Finds Smoking and Binge Drinking Occur Together Among Adolescents

Smoking and drinking have long been preached against within the walls of the local school’s heath class. Researchers now suggest lessons combine binge drinking and smoking into a single lesson regarding health as they tend to go hand in hand with today’s adolescents.

Science Daily published a release examining the findings from Temple researchers. This group determined rates of smoking and binge drinking through anonymous survey data from 2,450 students in public high schools in Philadelphia. The responses were compiled from the 2007 Philadelphia Youth Behavioral Risk Survey (YRBS).

“These are important findings because they emphasize the need for education and intervention programs that target the co-occurrence of these two health risks,” said Brian Daly, assistant professor of public health in the College of Health Professions and Social Work, in Science Daily.

Researchers examined the collected data and determined while Caucasian adolescents were more likely than African Americans to engage in either binge drinking or smoking, both groups were equally as likely to engage in both at the same time.

“In the past 30 years or so, African Americans have traditionally had the lowest instance of smoking and binge drinking,” said Daly, who presented his research at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting this week. “Those low numbers resulted in very few studies which looked at both smoking and binge drinking in a diverse sample; most focused only on instances of these in Caucasian or Hispanic adolescents.”

According to Daly, the equal instances of smoking and binge drinking among both groups points to the need to implement a multi-pronged approach to education and intervention throughout schools and other channels.

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