Smoking is known to be damaging to one’s health and can cause various cancers in the body. Smoking at any age has negative effects, including for teenagers and young adults. Teens are often exposed to images of celebrities smoking, which can make it seem cool, even though there are many serious downsides to smoking. In some instances, the media tries to make smoking look acceptable, which helps tobacco companies make sales.
Teens may be faced with peers who smoke or family members who smoke in their home. Being bullied to start smoking is very possible, especially for those who are over 18, since it is then legal to smoke cigarettes in the United States. If teens live with smokers, they are likely exposed to second-hand smoke and all the health repercussions that come with it. These teens are also more likely to have access to packs of cigarettes that older siblings, parents or other family members have in the household. It’s important to inform teens regarding a number of smoking-related topics, including:
- How the media portrays smoking
- Peer pressure and smoking
- The dangers of smoking
Teens, Families, Peers and Smoking
Teens may start smoking for a number of reasons, including peer pressure. Friends may smoke at parties or events and offer a cigarette to a friend or a circle of friends. When everyone is participating, your teen may feel obligated to join in. Peers may start smoking when they are younger than the legal age of 18, if they are able to obtain cigarettes from older siblings, family members or friends. If this is the case, your teen could be exposed to smoking much earlier than the age of 18.
If a teen grows up in a smoking household, it may be difficult for your teen to see the dangers of smoking and the many reasons to stop smoking. The popular media and entertainment companies may show smoking as a positive activity, although there are many well-known side effects and noted dangers.
Educate Your Teen
Teen smoking can be dangerous no matter what the starting influence is. It is important to recognize the different areas of your teen’s life that could cause him or her to start smoking and to keep your teen informed about the damage that smoking can cause to the lungs, heart and other parts of the body.
The Role Popular Media Plays
Your teen’s favorite celebrities may be smokers. The popular media outlets may promote this in order to help the tobacco companies make sales. There are literally hundreds of thousands of images that portray smoking as cool and harmless, and these images can have an impact on your teen. It is important to make sure that your child understands that the media is a business, like any other.
The Dangers of Smoking
Teen smoking can cause your teen to develop an addiction and dependency on nicotine. Teens who start smoking at a young age may also face more difficulties if they decide to stop smoking. Addiction and dependency can cause a smoker to smoke more and more cigarettes, especially when stressed. This dependency is dangerous to a teen’s health and a drain on their financial resources.
Developing an Addiction
“Teens who start smoking early in life are more prone to developing a nicotine addiction. “Teens who start smoking early in life are more prone to developing a nicotine addiction. Nicotine addiction is dangerous because it leads to smoking more often, which can cause other health problems. Cancers, asthma, bronchitis and other conditions can arise due to smoking, so it is important that your teen is aware of the damaging effect cigarettes have on the body. Dependencies are easy to develop, so it is best to stop smoking earlier, rather than after years of addiction.
How it Affects Relationships
It is important to have your teen understand that smoking is not only damaging to his or her health, but also to those around him or her. Second-hand smoke can harm friends and family members who are exposed over time, or even the first time if the friends or family members have conditions such as asthma. Smoking bans are in place now in many states and public locations. This means that smokers may be forced to smoke outside, away from events, friends and family members at restaurants, bars and other locales.
Smoking addiction can be treated if you wish to stop. A tobacco treatment center can help you get off cigarettes with little to no withdrawal symptoms. There are also some medications and nicotine gums available over the counter that can help address nicotine addiction and withdrawal symptoms when used in place of a cigarette.
There are many reasons to stop smoking, from the health dangers that smoking causes to the taste of cigarettes in your mouth or the smell of smoke on your clothing. These things may cause strain on your relationships, especially if you are surrounded by non-smokers.
If you suspect your teen is addicted to nicotine, call us at . Our helpful staff can give you the information you need to properly educate yourself and your child about the dangers of smoking tobacco and addiction in general.