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Aegis Note: According to a study conducted by Dr. Henry Lai and his group, signal substances in the nervous system may be affected by low level exposure to microwaves that can activate endogenous opioids in the brain which may form an addiction.

Teens Trading Cigarette Addiction For Cell Phones
Chicago Sun Times
Journalist: Brad Evenson
November 06, 2000

Want your teens to quit smoking? Buy them cellular phones.

Addiction researchers in Britain say adolescent smoking is declining sharply, and they say that might be linked to teens' increasing cell phone use.

"We argue that the mobile phone is an effective competitor to cigarettes in the market for products that offer teenagers adult style, individuality, sociability, rebellion, peer group bonding, and adult aspiration," says a letter published in the British Medical Journal.

Between 1996 and 1999, the rate of smoking fell from 30 percent to 23 percent among 15-year-olds in Britain.

In roughly the same period, ownership of cell phones went from virtually nil to 70 percent among teens ages 15 to 17.

Smoking may be seen as "old technology" to teenagers, with e-mail, text-messaging and other communications gadgetry as the new portal to adult life, say the letter's authors, Dr. Anne Charlton, emeritus professor at the University of Manchester's school of epidemiology and public health, and Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking and Health.

In Britain, the marketing of cell phones is rooted in promoting self-image, a tactic that resembles cigarette advertising, the British Medical Journal letter says.

"To explain the link with declining teenage smoking, mobile phones are particularly important as they consume teenagers' available cash, especially the pay-as-you-go cards," it continues.

"If some teenagers cannot afford to smoke and pay for a mobile phone that satisfies the same needs as smoking, they may decide not to smoke."

But teens might be dropping one dangerous habit that leads to lung cancer-- smoking--for one that at least a few scientists think may cause brain or thyroid cancer--cell phones. British health authorities recently issued guidelines urging children and teenagers to limit the time they spend talking on cell phones to reduce exposure to microwaves.

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