Addicted And Conflicted: Teenage Smokers Want To Quit

New Legacy and Seventeen Magazine Survey Reveals Surprising Results

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly one-in-ten teen girls in the United States are current smokers, but a majority of them want to quit, according to a new survey conducted by Legacy and Seventeen magazine. Researchers from Legacy – best known for the truth® youth smoking prevention campaign – surveyed teen girls on their behavior, attitudes and opinions about quitting smoking and found that 70 percent who smoke want to quit. According to the data, almost 60 percent have tried to quit, but less than half were successful. The results of the survey were highlighted in the November issue of Seventeen magazine.


"The smoking epidemic is a teen epidemic," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. "With November marking Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the Great American Smoke Out taking place November 15, these findings provide a timely opportunity for teens to get the resources they need to make the most important decision of their young lives: to quit smoking," she added.

Data was collected by Research Now and included 570 13-17 year old girls, 9 percent of whom were current smokers. Among those surveyed, most who tried to quit found it was more difficult than they expected (52.6 percent); less than half (40 percent) were successful in their attempts.

The survey also found that many of the teens who reported smoking identified themselves as social smokers, or someone who had merely tried smoking.

"The term 'social smoking' becomes problematic for many young smokers.  We know that even one cigarette can do damage to your body and light smokers may still face adverse health effects," Healton said. "Additionally, the nicotine in cigarettes can change the way our brains work – especially the developing brains of young teens. In our efforts to stem the tobacco epidemic, we must not only focus on prevention and providing teens with information on WHY they should not try that first cigarette; we have to devote energy to showing them HOW to stop smoking one of the most addictive substances available to them."

"At Seventeen, we want to empower girls with real information to make the smartest choices in their health—and their lives," says Ann Shoket, Seventeen's  Editor-In-Chief. "It's crucial that we give girls the right reasons to stop smoking, and the tools to actually make it happen."

Research shows that there are many reasons why teens start to smoke, including peer pressure, rebelliousness, impact of media, parental smoking and more. Many of those surveyed said they started smoking because their friends were smoking and because they were curious. A small number of teen girls reported they smoked to control their weight.

Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy's proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit

Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebook

Seventeen ( is the best-selling monthly teen magazine, reaching more than 13 million readers every month. In each issue, Seventeen reports on the latest in fashion, beauty, health and entertainment, as well as information and advice on the complex real-life issues that young women face every day. Readers can interact with the brand on the digital front, with the Seventeen Ultimate Fashion Flipbook iPhone app as well as with the monthly edition of the magazine on the iPad. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Seventeen publishes 13 editions around the world. Seventeen is published by Hearst Magazines, one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies. With its acquisition of Lagardere SCA's 100 titles in 14 countries outside of France, Hearst Magazines now publishes more than 300 editions around the world, including 20 U.S. titles. Hearst Magazines is a leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation and reaches 82 million adults (Spring 2012 MRI). Follow Seventeen on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.



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