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Issues » 2018/4 - ERIS Journal - Summer 2018 »

Linda Homan, Emma Regan

Young People’s Perceptions of Smoking Behaviour and the Implications for Social and Health Workers


Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: Addiction to smoking has serious health implications, particularly as addiction may lead to a lifetime smoking. Social workers work with socially deprived clients and therefore can have a role in assisting in health behaviour choices. THEORETICAL BASE: Social constructionism - what constitutes young people’s need to smoke. METHODS: To understand why young people smoke qualitative phase one interviews (n=40) took place in six deprived areas of Essex, in England. A quantitative questionnaire was sent to 14 districts of Essex. Comparison was made between Higher deprivation (HD) and Lower Deprivation (LD) areas (Total n=1711). Ethical approval was via Anglia Ruskin University Faculty Research Ethics Panel, and Essex, Thurrock and Southend local authorities. OUTCOMES: Phase One: The phase one results demonstrate that young people who smoke are mainly stimulated by stress (14 of the 40 participants). Phase Two: Found that 70.1% of high deprived area (HD) and 62.6% of less deprived area (LD) Smokers identified ‘stress’ as the most significant reason for smoking. IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK: Social workers can help people understand their feelings of needing to smoke cigarettes / smoking behaviour, and to help them manage stress without the need to smoke.


Keywords:

young people, smoking, stress, addiction, boredom, poverty




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