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Teen Smoking – a Serious Concern

Early teen years are the most important for not only teens but parents too. During this period, the kids come through new phases so they are both excited and fearful. It is the time when parents should be their side to help them understand what is right and what is wrong. They might be offered cigarettes and alcohol. However, your kid like any other kid will pass this stage. However, if they get into smoking at a very early stage, they will develop nicotine addiction- both long term and short term. Nicotine addiction could ruin their life forever.

Let us have a look at the teen smoking statistics

A survey conducted by U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1997 found that about 36% of high school students accounted for smoking. The good news is that in 2007, these levels declined to 20%.

What could be the reasons for this decrease?

  • Consistent tobacco price hike
  • School efforts to counter this habit
  • Anti-smoking campaigns in various mass media

If you think that all these figures and statistics are of boys, well girls are not far. They are at same levels when it comes to teen smoking.

Acc. to CDC’s latest survey, 6.4 million children under the grip of teen smoking will die prematurely of various related disease and health conditions.

The ABC of Teen Smoking

Teens are attracted towards smoking for two reasons:

  • They feel it as sign to show that they are independent
  • They take it as sign to signal rebellion

Some other very common reasons could be:

  • To look cool, tough, strong
  • To lose weight especially in case of girls

National Institute on Drug Abuse surveyed 8th to 10th graders and of the every four out of five 10th grader and three of five 8th grader said they could easily obtain cigarettes.

How these teens get access/ buy the cigarettes’?

  • Purchase them from vending machines
  • Buy from other kids
  • Give money to older adults to buy cigarettes
  • 1/3rd of teenagers smoke cigarettes from their friends
  • Only a small percentage steal or shoplift for cigarettes

Dangers of Teen Smoking

  • Increased phlegm
  • Coughing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Lung problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decrease in overall energy levels

How to detect that your teen is into smoking?

  • Frequent coughing, sore throat, hoarse voice
  • Smell of smoking from clothes
  • Bad breath
  • Burn marks on clothing
  • Stained teeth
  • Frequent cold

How to help you’re teen quit smoking?

  • Explain them the adverse impact of smoking on health
  • Instead of giving lectures or threatening him or her, ask questions as to why smoking appeals them.
  • Tell them that they should try quitting slowly. They cannot do it at one go.
  • Help them develop a strategy and then give your support in fulfilling the target

Remember that, the chances of quitting teen smoking would better if the teens get support from their peer groups.