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Cigarette Smoking Among Dancers of Different Ages and Levels of Training

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Few studies have evaluated cigarette use specifically in dancers, but those that exist suggest that there is a high prevalence of smoking. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cigarette smoking behaviors and attitudes in dancers of different ages and levels of training. Between June 2011 and September 2012 questionnaires were distributed to dancers at three different sites: a performing arts high school, a college-level conservatory, and a professional ballet company. One hundred and thirty-eight dancers (114 females and 24 males) between 12 to 31 years of age were surveyed. At the time of data collection, 8.7% of these dancers were current smokers and 9.4% were former smokers. The percentage of male dancers who smoked was almost 5 times that of female dancers who smoked. Over 40% of smokers expressed a desire to quit. Close to 80% of dancers had had teachers or choreographers who smoked. Over half of participants overestimated the number of dancers who smoke. Respondents recognized several negative effects of smoking on dancing, including difficulty with breathing, lack of stamina, and general health deficits. It is concluded that a minority of the participants in this study smoked (18% were current or former smokers), and the vast majority of dancers surveyed recognized that smoking diminishes one's ability to dance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 319 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115;, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Orthopaedics, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 3: Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 4: Artist Rehabilitation Therapy Services, LLC, The Boston Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts 5: Boston Ballet, Boston, Massachusetts 6: Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 7: The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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