Study Links Poor Academic Performance with Smoking

A report by Statistics Canada concludes that students who smoke may be more likely to perform poorly in school, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported June 15.

The survey of 19,000 students in grades 5 to 9 found that three in 10 students who smoked said they were performing below average academically, while non-smokers said they were performing well.

Rina Gupta, a child psychologist at McGill University, said similar results were found among users of other addictive drugs.

“These kids who grow up experiencing problems learning or with learning disabilities, they do have a poorer self-concept of themselves,” said Gupta. She added that such children may smoke to be accepted or as part of a self-destructive pattern. “It’s a negative sense of self. And they tend to orient themselves towards negative behaviors,” Gupta said.