Health Psychology and Teen Smoking

446 words | 2 page(s)

According to an article published in The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, despite many efforts to curb teen smoking, “one-quarter of teens in the U.S. will begin smoking before graduating from high school” (Health Harvard, n.d.). Efforts to curb teen smoking have included sales tax increases, laws that limit the amount of exposure teens receive to secondhand smoke, and advertising changes that marketing specialists have geared toward making smoking less appealing toward youth and adolescents (Health Harvard, n.d.). Successful methods for curbing teen smoking proven to change behaviors include behavioral counseling and interventions for high risk youth or teenagers that already smoke (Health Harvard, n.d.). These work to help determine the reasons for smoking and other addictive behaviors. Reports by Mayo Clinic Researchers also suggest that setting good examples for teens, including avoiding smoking and becoming actively involved in anti-smoking campaigns can help curb smoking behaviors (2012). Parents and educators can work with teens to help prevent teen smoking and raise awareness of teen smoking in their community.

Health Benefits of Exercise
A recent study published by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2011) revealed that regular physical exercise provide many “physical and mental health benefits for both men and women.” These include delaying the mortality rate in both, reducing the risk of many chronic diseases including: stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (Garber, Blissmer, Deschenes, et al. 2011). Further, consistent exercise can reduce the risk of psychological changes that occur later in life include mental decline and dementia, and improve an individual’s perceived feelings of energy and enthusiasm regarding life (Garber, Blissmer, Deschenes, et al., 2011). These benefits were available for both men and women regardless of gender as long as each challenged the body enough “to result in increased VO2 max improvements” (Garber, Blissmer, Deschenes, et al, 2011). This suggests that exercising regularly at a moderate intensity will result in improvements that include physical and psychological improvements. The American Council on Exercise “recommends 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise” to achieve the best health benefits performed each week (n.d). This may include aerobic or strength training activities.

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  • ACE. (n.d.). HHS Announces Physical Activity Guidelines. Ace.org. Retrieved October 1, 2013 from: http://www.acefitness.org
  • Garber, C.E., Blissmer, B., Deschenes, M.R. et al. (2011). Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(7):1334-59. http://journals.lww.com/
  • Harvard Health. (n.d.). Helping Teens Stop Smoking. Health.Harvard.Edu. Retrieved October 1, 2013: http://www.health.harvard.edu/
  • Mayo Clinic. (2012). Teen Smoking: 10 Ways to Keep Teens Smoke-Free. MayoClinic.com.
    Retrieved October 1, 2013 from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/

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