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The Impacts of the Sleeper Effect and Relapse on the Dynamics of Cigarette Smoking Among Adolescents

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that 6.4 million of today's children will die prematurely from a smoking related illness if environmental conditions remain the same. The percentage of high school students who smoke cigarettes has remained at around 23% for the past three years. Recent research reports a "sleeper effect" in children. That is, children who smoked once before age 11 are twice as likely to become a regular smoker by age 14. We model smoking dynamics among children ages 11 to 18 as a "socially-transmitted" disease, and use it to explore possible mechanisms of the "sleeper effect." Is it due to prior exposure or is it due to higher relapse rates? The model fits the number of smokers for the past 16 years as reported by the CDC. The feasibility of the CDC's goal for 2010 is evaluated. The significance of relapse is highlighted by a simple bifurcation analysis. The effects of education on this group are explored and recommendations for effective approaches are made.

  • Poster session award recipient at the 2006 National SIAM Conference on the Life Sciences in Raleigh, NC

Article Number:
MTBI-03-04M

Year:
2006

Authors:
Odalys Colon-Rentas, University of Puerto Rico
Leonard Gordon, Berea College
Ludguier D. Montejo, Columbia University
Pamela Reitsma, Whitman College
Fabio A Sánchez, Cornell University
Baojun Song, Montclair State University

the_impacts_of_the_sleeper_effect_and_relapse_on_the_dynamics_of_cigarette_smoking_among_adolescents_.pdf