Skip to main content

Promotieonderzoek roken bij adolescenten


Teen Smoking May Cause Enduring Attention Problems

Megan Brooks

October 13, 2015


Smoking in adolescence contributes to attention problems that persist into adulthood, a new study of identical twins suggests.

“Since our results imply that smoking causally increases attention problems, the most important implication of this study is that the initiation of smoking should be prevented or delayed as much as possible,” Jorien Treur, doctoral candidate, Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands, told Medscape Medical News.


“The prevention of smoking is even more important for adolescents who already have attention problems (eg, ADHD). We know from previous studies that these adolescents are more likely to start smoking, but now our study has shown that smoking could also further increase their preexisting attention problems,” she added.

She notes that in a recent analysis conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was estimated that roughly 3.7 million high school students and 910,000 middle school students were using tobacco in 2014. Attentional problems are only “one of many concerns” regarding the consequences of cigarette smoking by young people, Dr London says, and “measures to protect the public health of youth are needed.”


“Stringent regulations are needed regarding the sale, pricing, and design of tobacco products to limit initiation of their use by youth as well as strong education and public messaging with health warnings and protection of youth from exposure to second-hand smoke. Because of the immaturity of prefrontal cortical resources to guide potentially life-altering decisions, strong regulatory efforts are needed to protect youth,” Dr London concludes.

The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


Biol Psychiatry. 2015;78:596-597,656-663.Abstract, Editorial