The Results Are Out On Smoking

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As teens wait anxiously for their GCSE results this week, many of the approximately one hundred thousand 16-year-old smokers may be turning to cigarettes for relief as the pressure mounts.

This Thursday will mark the end of two years of studying for thousands of students, and as many embark on further studies they will also have to leave cigarettes behind. From 1st October it will be illegal to sell tobacco to under 18's (up from 16).

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Reaching for a cigarette when stressed is actually the worst thing a nervous student can do - research has shown that lighting up when under pressure actually increases stress levels. Nicotine wears off quickly and the withdrawal symptoms can make people tense. All smoking actually does is calm nicotine cravings - the very symptom that smoking causes.

Currently, 26 percent of 16-19 year olds smoke and half of all teenagers who smoke will die from diseases caused by tobacco if they continue to smoke throughout the course of their life. It is hoped that changing the age of sale of tobacco will make it harder for under-18's to become addicted to tobacco and therefore reduce the numbers of tobacco users who unnecessarily cut short their lives through tobacco related illnesses. Reducing the minimum age at which teenagers can be sold tobacco products will also reduce the general availability of cigarettes, and could therefore discourage young people from taking up smoking in the first place.

Help is at hand locally for teenagers wanting to quit, with Manchester Primary Care Trust (PCT) providing a range of options through the Stop Smoking Service. Richard Holford, Senior Public Health Development Advisor for Tobacco Control and Young People said,

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