Why do teenagers smoke?
Teenagers are actually the most influenced group by drugs. There are many reasons behind why teenagers smoke. Those reasons could be social, individual, or psychological and we shall go over each type in this article and discuss solutions to this phenomenon. Teenage smoking is a prominent social phenomenon which needs to be taken into consideration. Socialists have spent so much time figuring out the causes of this alarming situation. From my point of view, there are some main reasons leading to the increase in this bad habit among children.
Facts about teenage smoking
These are ALL government confirmed facts:
- About 90% of smokers started smoking before the age of 21.
- Every day, over 3800 teenagers will try their first cigarette. And unfortunately, about 1000 of them will become nicotine addicts.
- Tobacco companies target this age group more than any other group.
- Over 27% of teenagers who smoke will develop a smoking related disease and die early because of that.
- Teen smokers are more likely to develop anxiety related disorders.
- 1 in 5 teen smokers smoke anywhere between 13 to 16 cigarettes every single day.
- 1.5 million cigarette packs are sold yearly to minors.
- Teen smokers will most likely develop a lung related disease due to the fact that smoking causes their lungs to not fully develop.
Shocking, isn’t it?
First of all, many children imitate adults who have direct influence on them. In fact, they want to become adults and use cigarettes as a tool to prove themselves as grown-ups. Moreover, some try to show off with their friends of the opposite sex. Others are even influenced by advertisements, including attractive performances of their idols and famous people. It is estimated that 4 out of 10 children are willing to do the same things as their idols such as clothing styles, hobbies and even smoking. Another reason could also be “curiosity”. Teenagers always feel curious about trying new things even if they know it’s gonna harm them. A few example would be smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. While these are all very important reasons, one reason that is usually overlooked is boredom. A teenager will do literally anything just to not be bored.
Another remarkable reason is that kids easily follow their friends’ actions. Virtually, those who are unlucky to have bad friends will imitate such things their friends do or sometimes be allured to form a bad habit such as smoking (Peer pressure). According to a recent survey, some kids have had terrible impressions on their minds by the threaten from their friends “Smoking or out of group”.
Finally, many teenagers suffer from their real life problems which causes themselves to addict. They feel bored with family issue such as conflicts between parents, lacks of parents’ care or divorce, etc. As a result, they turn into smoking as a way to cheer them up and get away from troubles. Adding to this, many students are unsatisfied with their marks at schools, and have arguments with their friends, some even lose their be lift in life. Hence, they regard smoking as a way to release from stress and escape from present life. Unfortunately, a lot of teenagers nowadays suffer from depression. Adults normally don’t give such things much attention because they believe that teenagers cannot depression, however, according to recent studies about teenagers and depression it was revealed that 11% of teenagers suffer from depression by the time they are 18, says the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A).
In conclusion, the environment around kids and their own thoughts result in their smoking. Parents should pay more attention to their children and give them right and timely orientations.
In an attempt to beat this rapidly increasing habit, the U.S government has adopted several policies and issued a few acts to help get rid of this life and community threatening phenomenon. The government has issued an called “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” which gives the FDA the authority and power to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and selling of cigarettes and other tobacco products which should prevent marketing and sales to adolescents. The FDA also has the power to take further actions to protect the public health. These regulations are:
- Ban marketing of tobacco products within one thousand feet of schools and playgrounds.
- Ban tobacco-brands sponsoring of ALL public events.
- Ban giveaways of non-tobacco products when a tobacco product is bought.
- Limit tobacco vending machines to adults only facilities.
- Require an I.D to buy any tobacco product and penalize those who sell to teenagers and minors.
How do we solve this problem?
There are many options and actions we can take to prevent teenagers for smoking tobacco or weed. Whether you are a parent, sibling, a family member, or a friend there is always something you can do about it to prevent your loved ones from falling into this ugly trap.
- As a parent
There are several actions you can take to prevent your son from smoking. These actions are:
- Find out if your son or daughter is addicted to cigarettes/weed or not. This way you will have identified the problem and you can move on to the next step.
- If you have a teenage smoker in your house, DO NOT blame them and “take it easy” with them. Talk to them as an adult because kids at this age like to be treated as adults and they will only listen to you if treat them that way.
- Have a civilized conversation with them where you educate them about the dangers of smoking and how it won’t help them “fit in”, be happier, or get over their problems.
- Encourage them to talk you about their problems, or in other words, become their best friend.
- Encourage them to seek professional help whether by talking to your personal doctor or through a free quit smoking program that is funded by the government.
- You can also read up more article on our website here Puff Not for the best ways to quit smoking
- In the beginning, encourage them to lessen the number of cigarettes they consume per day. For example if they smoke 13 cigarettes everyday, lower this number to 7 per day for the whole week after. Then gradually keep lowering that number till they become able to let go of that addiction and to not cause any withdrawal side effects.
- Be positive and believe in your kids.
- As a friend
- Educate yourself about the dangers of smoking and present multiple options that can help them get rid of their addictions. Such things could be nicotine patches or nicotine nasal sprays. But beware of their side effects
- Be supportive.
- Talk to your friend about the dangers of smoking tobacco or weed and how it can make them die early.
- Be patient and have faith in your friend.
- As a family member
- Always remember that communication is key.
- Make him aware of the life threatening diseases that could develop from smoking.
- Be patient and supportive.
- Ask them what you can do to help them get through this rough stage of their life.
- Encourage them to seek professional help and be there for them.
Teenage smoking could be cured and prevent in many cases, but remember that it takes time. Don’t let your loved ones fall for the trap that is set up by the tobacco companies in a cheap and a horrible attempt to become wealthy on the expense of our youth and the public health.