Perception of Risks and Benefits of Smoking among Adolescents of Glacier International College


Background: Tobacco use is one of the important preventable causes of death and a leading public health problem all over the world. Multiple factors are involved in the initiation of smoking in adolescents and young adults. Adolescents may incorrectly believe that cigarette smoking is less risky than other behaviors, such as alcohol consumption and drug use, and they do not understand the short-term effect and addictive nature of smoking. Objectives: The main objective of the study was to find out the perceived physical risks, social risks, addiction risks and perceived benefits of smoking among adolescents. Method: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among 100 adolescents using stratified random sampling and self-administered questionnaire. In order to assess the perceived risks and benefits of smoking, questionnaire developed by Song et al. and Halpern-Felsher et al. was used. Results: Among 100 adolescents, 38 were female. The mean perceived risk was 60% and mean perceived benefit was 32%. There was a significant difference between age and perceived physical risks, social risks and benefits of smoking. Perceived benefits of smoking had a significant difference with educational level and smoking behavior of respondents as well. Conclusion: Adolescents perceive both risks and benefits of smoking. In order to discourage or prevent adolescents from initiating smoking, future intervention programs should focus on communicating not only the health risks but also the social and addiction risks as well as counteract the benefits associated with smoking. There is a felt need for smoking cessation program and necessity for school based smoking prevention programs.

Share and Cite:

Dhungel, B. and Bhandari, N. (2015) Perception of Risks and Benefits of Smoking among Adolescents of Glacier International College. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-13. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101160.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] (2008) WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic. The MPOWER Package. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[2] Ministry of Health and Population [Nepal] (2011) Tobacco Control Reference Book. Ministry of Health and Population, Kathmandu.
[3] Ezzati, M. and Lopez, A.D. (2003) Estimates of Global Mortality Attributable to Smoking in 2000. Lancet, 362, 847-852.
[4] Ministry of Health and Population [Nepal] (2012) Nepal Adolescents and Youth Survey 2010/11. Ministry of Health and Population, Kathmandu.
[5] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2004) A Report of the Surgeon General. Preventing Tobacco Use among Young People. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC.
[6] Jamieson, P. and Romer, D. (2001) What Do Young People Think They Know about the Risks of Smoking? In: Slovic, P., Ed., Smoking Risk, Perception, and Policy, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, 51.
[7] Slovic, P. (2001) Smoking. Risk, Perception and Policy. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, 378-382.
[8] Mantler, T. (2012) A Systematic Review of Smoking Youths’ Perceptions of Addiction and Health Risks Associated with Smoking. Utilizing the Framework of the Health Belief Model. Addiction Research & Theory, 21.
[9] Pierce, J.P., Choi, W.S., Gilpin, E.A., Farkas, A.J. and Merritt, R.K. (1996) Validation of Susceptibility as a Predictor of Which Adolescents Take up Smoking in the United States. Health Psychology, 15, 355-361.
[10] Unger, J.B., Rohrbach, L.A., Howard-Pitney, B., Ritt-Olson, A. and Mouttapa, M. (2001) Peer Influences and Susceptibility to Smoking among California Adolescents. Substance Use & Misuse, 36, 551-571.
[11] Song, A.V., Morrell, H.E.R., Cornell, J.L., Ramos, M.E., Biehl, M., Kropp, R.Y. and Halpern-Felsher, B.L. (2009) Perceptions of Smoking-Related Risks and Benefits as Predictors of Adolescent Smoking Initiation. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 487-492.
[12] Okoli, C.T.C., Richardson, C.G., Ratner, P.A. and Johnson, J.L. (2009) Non-Smoking Youths’ “Perceived” Addiction to Tobacco Is Associated with Their Susceptibility to Future Smoking. Addictive Behaviors, 34, 1010-1016.
[13] Bonnie, R.J., Stratton, K. and Wallace, R.B. (2007) Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation. National Academies Press, Washington DC.
[14] Halpern-Felsher, B.L., Biehl, M., Kropp, R.Y. and Rubinstein, M.L. (2004) Perceived Risks and Benefits of Smoking: Differences among Adolescents with Different Smoking Experiences and Intentions. Preventive Medicine, 39, 559-567.
[15] Sonya, S.B., Song, A.V. and Halpern-Felsher, B.L. (2008) Adolescents Report Both Positive and Negative Consequences of Experimentation with Cigarette Use. Preventive Medicine, 46, 585-590.
[16] Aryal, U.R. (2013) Perceived Risks and Benefits of Cigarette Smoking among Nepalese Adolescents: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study. BMC Public Health, 13, 187.
[17] Morrell, H.E., Song, A.V. and Halpern-Felsher, B.L. (2010) Predicting Adolescent Perceptions of the Risks and Benefits of Cigarette Smoking: A Longitudinal Investigation. Health Psychology, 29, 610-617.
[18] Aryal, U. and Lohani, S. (2011) Perceived Risk of Cigarette Smoking among College Students. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council, 9, 176-180.
[19] Urberg, K. and Robbins, R.L. (2000) Adolescents’ Perceptions of the Costs and Benefits Associated with Cigarette Smoking: Sex Differences and Peer Influence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 10, 353-361.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.