A new study from Lincolnshire University of Science and Technology has revealed that girls who smoke have sex earlier than non-smokers.
"We have conductive an extensive survey," said Alec Coucher, head of Intimate Studies at LUST. "Having factored for economic backgrounds, race, religion and height we can exclusively reveal that girls who smoke have sex at a younger age than their peers who do not smoke."
The survey results have been passed onto the theoretical sociology department to construct theories as to why this should be the case. Initial ideas centre around the fact that girls who start smoking are more willing to try taboo activities than those who do not, and sex is the biggest taboo activity a young woman can experiment with.
"We do not yet know if smoking and sex are causally related, or if they are independent manifestations of a deeper urge," said Coucher. "If they are causally related, this can be an indicator of those girls who will need intervention to prevent teenage pregnancy."
Coucher has denied that they are checking if the two are causally related by getting young girls hooked on cigarettes and then seeing if they are more willing to have sex. "That would be sick," he said. "And I'm not sick."
Instead one thousand girls from a variety of backgrounds have been recruited into a long term study. In a sample of one thousand, forty are expected to get pregnant before their eighteenth birthday. In addition, a further seven hundred will be expected to request contraception from GPs. By monitoring hair samples, scientists will be able to tease out which of the sexually active girls are smokers, and for how long they have been smoking.
"We have promised anonymity," said Coucher. "It's the only way we could get children to sign up."
Despite the study only running for one month, they already have their first pregnancy in the group, a fourteen year old girl. "She smokes twenty a day," said Coucher. "Case proved? Time will tell."