College students who smoke contend that they are just as healthy as nonsmokers and aren’t particularly worried about the health effects of smoking, according to a University of Texas study.
The Health Behavior News Service reported July 29 that researcher Alexander V. Prokhorov, M.D., and colleagues found that many college students felt invulnerable to the health impact of smoking. “Unfortunately, most smokers commonly deny personal risk, believing that others are more likely to experience negative consequences,” he said.
For example, 94 percent of smokers reported at least one respiratory problem, such as morning cough or shortness of breath. But 90 percent also believed they had no symptoms or illness related to smoking.
However, young smokers who were contemplating quitting reported more smoking-related symptoms, and were more aware of the health risks of smoking.
The study looked at 1,283 community-college students in Texas.