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3 Reasons Why It Is Dangerous For Teens To Start Smoking

Everyone knows how smoking negatively impacts our physical health.  What most people don’t know is why it is imperative that teenagers never have even 1 cigarette.  The consequences of teens smoking can affect them throughout their lives.  Here is why.

Everyone knows how smoking negatively impacts our physical health.  What most people don’t know is why it is imperative that teenagers never have even 1 cigarette.

  1. The Teenage Brain is highly addictive


    Teenagers get addicted to every substance faster than adults.
    Once addicted they have much greater difficulty ridding themselves of the habit. 
    Not only in their teen years but throughout the rest of their lives.

    A teen only needs one cigarette a month or one cigarette a week to sustain their addiction.
    This means that they may be addicted for more than a year before they feel the need to smoke a cigarette every day.

    As time goes by, they have to smoke cigarettes more and more frequently.

  2. Impaired Cognitive and Behavioural Function

    Smoking can cause a variety of cognitive and behavioural problems in teenagers.

    This includes:-

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    Impaired reasoning abilities and memory loss.
    It has also been associated with lower IQ.

    If they try to stop smoking, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Including:-

    Trouble concentrating
    Irritability
    Sleep problems

  3. It is a gateway for alcohol Use 

    People who began smoking in adolescence are three times more likely to misuse alcohol.
    Long-term ingestion of nicotine has been shown to increase tolerance to alcohol.
    This means it takes more alcohol to produce the same effect.

    So smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop alcoholism.

How to Steer Teens Away From Smoking

  • Acknowledge the attraction – it is an expression of rebellion against parental control and
  • A way of bonding with a particular group of friends.
  • It is something new and different – tempting
  • Talk to them about it BEFORE you suspect them to be smoking – Calmly ask them if any of their friends smoke.
  • Affirm their own good sense not to smoke by pointing out the effects of tobacco on their growing brains.
  • Tell them how each cigarette is hooking their brains into wanting more and more
  • Treat them with respect acknowledging that they can learn the facts.

Talking to them about teen smoking and other topics increases communication between you.  Perhaps even consider family counselling.  I am a Professional Facilitator and can facilitate a conversation between you and your teen.

  1. Tell them about how tobacco companies portrayed smoking as glamorous in advertising campaigns. How they manipulated generations of teenagers in this way.
  2. Help them count the weekly or monthly cost of cigarette smoking.
  3. Suggest ways around the peer pressure they might feel when offered a cigarette
  4. Appeal to teenage vanity. How it impacts their skin, hair, personal freshness and breath etc.  Remind them that tobacco stains their teeth
  5. How it will impact their sports performance. Feeling winded and a chronic cough.
  6. Talk about people they know who suffered severe health consequences as a result of smoking.

It’s difficult for teenagers to look into the future. Their brains are not yet wired to consider distant consequences.   Don’t let that stop you drilling into them the consequences of smoking.   They may be dismissive. They may put their hands over their ears or turn and walk away, but on some level it will register.
Remember, they don’t miss a thing at this age!

What If they have already started?

Suggest that they switch to smokeless tobacco or electronic cigarettes.  They aren’t harmless, of course, but they’re better than the alternative.  I have helped many people stop smoking using hypnotherapy.  Contact me for a no obligation 30 minute consultation to find out more.

On a Final Note

Be a good role model for your teenager. You can’t preach abstinence if you are still smoking!

 

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