Social Trends for Nicotine Use Among Young Adults

Social trends for nicotine use with young adults focuses on habits such as when and where young people buy cigarettes to how a person smokes and where. Social smokers tend to use regularly but not necessarily everyday. Nearly 30 percent likely fall into the category of social smoker. Learn more about the trends of social nicotine use in young adults.

Anti-Smoking Campaign

In 2007, a study was conducted which found social smoking among college students was loose and inconsistent. Most people know a social smoker from sight as that individual smokes only occasionally, almost always in groups and more often than not while drinking alcohol. The person does not consider him or herself addicted to nicotine but may have started casually smoking in high school or college even if the habit is not a daily one. Sometimes the urge to smoke with friends or when out is too tempting and so the trend continues.

How it Starts

Sometimes an individual smokes a whole pack of cigarettes if friends come to town or an individual goes on vacation and is more lax about smoking habits. Smoking is seen as a small indulgence that happens like eating sweets and treats at the holidays. Social smoking is often compared to social drinking in that it only happens occasionally but even if the social smoker goes overboard, the behavior is still fundamentally different. Social drinking is important to recognize as a hallmark of socialization practices such as eating dinner with friends and having a drink. When use is confined to particular situations, it marks a person as not addicted but still using on a somewhat regular basis.

Tobacco Industry

Slim, light and additive-free cigarettes are marketed to young people who may think engaging in harm reduction through smoking healthier cigarettes is the right way to go. Emerging products in the marketplace including ‘healthier’ alternatives such as e-cigarettes carry the allure of vaping by avoiding the harmful side effects. Social smoking is a behavior that, once started, can reach well into the college years and beyond.

Social Shifts in United States

Declines in smoking have been seen in adults over the past forty years but young adults aged eighteen to twenty-five are seeing the highest prevalence of smoking across all age groups. Young adults, in essence, are smoking more than ever before. Among women, white youth have the highest prevalence of smoking. The trends of young adult smokers tends to go down when they attend college although there is an increase of young adults starting smoking after age eighteen. Young adulthood is pivotal in the development of many behaviors, smoking among them. Patterns of behavior among college students are more fluid than adults whose behavior tends to be firmly established. An individual’s behavior may start out intermittent or light and progress to heavy smoking later.

Blueprints supports young adults in recovery from addiction. Call us to find out how we can create a tailored program designed to meet your young adult’s needs in recovery.