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Do mobile phones replace cigarette smoking among teenagers?
  1. N Steggles,
  2. M J Jarvis
  1. Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Naomi Steggles, University College London, 2-16 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK; 
 n.steggles{at}public-health.ucl.ac.uk

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It has been hypothesised that the rise in mobile phone usage over the past few years may be in part responsible for an observed decline in smoking prevalence among teenagers in the UK.1,2 Specifically it has been suggested that mobile phone use competes with smoking as a symbol of maturity for teenagers aspiring to be seen as adults. Additionally “pay as you go” cards may compete with cigarettes for pocket money. The association between the rise in mobile phone usage and falling rates of smoking has not, however, been observed in several other European countries.3–5

We included questions on mobile phones in a cross sectional study of 4250 13–14 year old south London school children participating in the …

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