You’re more likely to smoke if you’re a girl
Got any filters?
You stand a greater chance of being a smoker if you’re a girl.
According to recent research, a tenth of teenage girls are smokers, compared to only seven per cent of boys.
Reasons for higher smoking rates among young women include girls using cigarettes to appear more glamorous, get thinner and feel more relaxed.
A survey conducted by the Department of Health spoke to 120,000 15-year-olds and found girls are more attracted to the glamorous image of lighting up.
While 21 per cent of boys said they had tried a cigarette, this rose to 28 per cent for girls.
College student Kate, 16, from Lancashire puts it down to curiosity. She said: “I’ve definitely smoked due to peer pressure but also because I’d heard lots of models did it and my parents always used to so I wanted to know what it felt like”.
Several studies have also found that smoking puts young women in a group of confident “top girls” who are seen as cool, outgoing and rebellious party goers.
College student Kate points out that “edgy” images featuring cigarettes are popular on some social networks.
She added: “Online smoking is becoming more and more romanticised. Girls are mainly the ones using Tumblr so they’re more likely to see the photos of smoking and want to try it.”
So if smoking is a way to be in the in crowd, why don’t as many boys turn to cigarettes to impress their mates?
While some girls smoke to be fashionably thin or get more likes on Tumblr, boys often have other ways of gaining prestige such as sport.