New Smoking Study May Shed Light on Yeshiva Boys Smoking

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smokingLarry Gordon’s Five Towns Jewish Times reports: Smoking is a social and medical danger that no segment of society is immune to – including the Yeshiva communities. A new study, conducted by researchers at M.D> Anderson Cancer Center in Houston reported in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention may shed light on some of the factors that contribute to young people beginning to smoke. The publication is the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.The study was conducted on Mexican-American adolescents. The results of the study suggest that prevention efforts tailored to an adolescent’s susceptibility status may be more effective among this particular ethnic group according to the senior author of the paper Anna Wilkinson, Ph.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology.

Mexican-American adolescents are more inclined to experiment than other groups, and experimentation is likely to lead to a permanent habit, so understanding susceptibility offers an opportunity for early intervention, the authors note.

“Susceptibility” as defined by the study, reflects the lack of a firm commitment to not smoke in the future. This is assessed by the subjects giving a positive answer to at least one of three questions: whether they expect to try a cigarette soon, if they would smoke a cigarette offered by a friend, and whether they expect to be smoking in a year.

“Our results suggest that being susceptible to smoking is not ethnic-specific,” Wilkinson said.

The yeshiva community needs to understand and eliminate the concept of “susceptibility” and the factors that contribute to it in order to prevent experimentation and habitual smoking. Separate approaches need to be considered for those who are committed to never smoking, because 15 percent of them go on to experiment.

{Five Towns Jewish Times}


  1. Comment #1: you are 100% correct, thanks for making sure we realise that smoking is one of those issues.

    It’s great to see people backing the need to deal with this issue.

    In many cases this causes long term financial hardship for families as the cost of cigarettes are always increasing, taking away from the general family needs. With the onset of emphacima, lung cancer and secondary smoke filling kids lungs making our kids require asmathic medication amongst others. It’s hard to see any positives to come from smoking in todays age.
    Think also of all the added productivity that can be achieved both in the general workforce and in Torah learning as guys who are ‘addicted’ can spend more time being dilignet in both their work and Torah, rather thn standing out the front ‘chapping a shmooze’ -> which inevitabrly leads to loshon hora

  2. Pachim Kitanim – wasting money & damaging health at the same time.
    An advertiment in England read – Free trip to Australia for 2 – stop smoking.
    Balley Mussar have brought this out, one would not ask his friend for a quarter, but for a cigarete, no problem. It shows how much adicted one can get to a habbit, which Rav Moshe Feinstein said it is not befiting a Ben Torah.


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