Sitting amidst the smoke and smell of burning cigarettes, Julie Jenner, 17, who has been smoking Marlboros for two years, explained that students there usually gathered in groups according to their social clique, or sometimes by cigarette brand, rather than by age or grade. But as long as you have it here, you might as well. But the school's principal, Mark Smith, and the Superintendent of New Canaan Schools, William French, said they did not think the existence of a smoking area within the school encouraged students to smoke, or to smoke more. I think it's a much more honest situation than forcing smokers to meet at the end of the playing field or to gather secretly in the washroom. Smoking is an individual personal decision and as such is an accepted part of our society. How young people are treated by an institution relates to how they feel about a school and how they learn. Nearly half the girl smokers In the survey said their schools had special smoker rooms. The cancer society suggested that smoking be banned in schools. Is it the role of a public school, which educates students about the dangers of smoking, to regulate the life of its students by forbidding smoking on school premises? When schools provide places for students to smoke, are they promoting the habit?
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Large numbers of adolescents smoke during school hours, despite the implementation of smoke-free school policies SFSPs. Studies about SFSPs predominantly analyse smoking as individual behaviour, yet there is increasing recognition that smoking should be understood as social behaviour. We explored shared smoking patterns specifying where , when , and with whom , and social meanings about why groups of adolescents smoke in two Dutch schools that have implemented SFSPs. Surveys among adolescents were held to obtain contextual information about the schools. Four focus group discussions and fourteen individual interviews were held with adolescents to identify shared smoking patterns in each school. Both built on pro-smoking norms and underscored the benefits of smoking. These built on anti-smoking norms and helped smokers cope with negative social judgements related to smoking. We conclude that adolescent smoking during school hours is embedded in diverse shared smoking patterns.
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