I found the notion interesting that adolescents might be more inclined to become addicted to tobacco use, especially in light of other evidence that suggests pruning in the pre-frontal cortex leaves adolescents predisposed to risk-taking behavior (Gardiner & Steinberg, 2005; Sullivan, Childs, & O’Connell, 2010). When adolescents start drinking by 13, they have a 44% chance of becoming an alcoholic, whereas an individual who begins drinking over age 21, has a far reduced chance at under 10 % (Dryfoss, 1991). This makes me wonder if the same brain changes that contribute to risk-taking behavior also predispose an adolescent to addiction. I could not, however, find research that supports this association.
Dryfoss, J. G. (1991). Adolescents at risk: Prevalence and prevention. New
York: Oxford Univ. Press.
Gardner, M., & Steinberg, L. (2005). Peer influence on risk-taking,
risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: An
experimental study. Developmental Psychology, 41(4), 625–635.
Sullivan, C. J., Childs, K. K., & O’Connell, D. (2010). Adolescent risk
behavior subgroups: An empirical assessment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,