Majority of adult smokers started smoking when they were in their teens. Understanding what makes your kids vulnerable to smoking can help keep them away from the habit.
People who started smoking at an early age are more likely to get addicted and stay addicted later in life. Survey revealed that 9 out of 10 individuals who drink, smoke, and/or use other forms of drugs started even before they reaches the age of 18, 91% of the respondents are smokers or tobacco users.
There can be several factors or reasons why teens start smoking. This may include but not limited to the following:
- Peer Pressure. This is among the leading reasons why teenagers start smoking. They smoke to be more like their friends.
- To fit in the crowd. Some teens would smoke so they can fit in a crowd or find friends they tag as “cool”.
- The “Man”. Some teens smoke to project a much manly image. They think smoking will make them look a lot tougher and cool.
- The “Rebel”. The “rebel” image tag to smoking is sometimes very appealing to teens, that they start smoking just to project the image.
- They see it on TV. Smoking campaigns are everywhere especially in movies. Teens can easily associate themselves to their favorite movie actors. They easily adopt the styles of these movie actors including smoking.
- To control weight gain. Teenage girls start smoking because of the misconception that it can help them control weight gain.
- Campaign Ads. Smoking ads sell smoking as something that is youthful and fun, and most teens buy it. Campaign ads would even make it appear it’s healthy to smoke by incorporating smoking into sports in their campaigns ads, therefore increasing the appeal to teenagers.
- They see it in adults. They see it at home. They see their parents smoke or someone of authority, so they think it is okay to smoke.
Most teen smokers even think that it won’t turn into a lasting problem. Some teens would only experiment only to find out that they are already hooked into the habit, and there is no easy way out. They are often surprised how they get so addicted and how hard it is to quit smoking.
How to tell if your teenager smokes?
It is really easy to figure out if your kids are smoking, if you know the signs:
- The lingering smell of cigarettes. You can smell it in their skin, hair, and in their clothes. You can also smell it in their friends.
- They use more breath gums or mint. Most closet smokers would use breath mints or gums to hide the lingering smell of cigarettes in their breath. They would often chew gums to hide the smell. If your kids chew mint gums more often than the usually, you may want to keep an eye on them.
- Loose lighters, tobacco, cigarette wrappers, on your kid’s pockets, bag, or car. If you can find these things on your kid’s things, you may want to call their attention or talk to them.
- They ask more money. It’s expensive to smoke. If you’re kids ask more money than they usually need, they might be spending it for something else. This should raise your attention.
Remember, if you’re a smoker, trying to stop or keep your teens from smoking can be a little more difficult. You cannot effectively argue of the negative effects of smoking, and how dangerous it is to people around you. You’ll be less credible in your arguments. You have to take care first of your own issues before you can effectively argue with your kids.