According to surveys conducted, 23% of high school students were found to smoke and 8% uses smokeless tobacco. More than 80% smokers began smoking when they were below 18 years of age and 90% began before the age of 21. Everyday someone's kid is falling into the habit, around 4000 children below 18 starts each day of which more than half comes from Asian countries. Around half of the teenage smokers will continue the habit for yet another 15-25 years, and 50% of them will eventually die from it. Around 40% of youth are passive smokers, sucking in poison puffed out by their parents. The teen smoking rate was on sharp fall after the mid 1990's but recent studies suggest that in the last few years it has increased a little.
The teenager today is aware of almost everything going around, they know the impact smoking will have on them and the death statistics related to smoking habit. Still, thousands of them are picking up the habit each day. What could be the reason behind this? Peer pressure is one of the main reasons behind this. The peers or friends, who smoke in most cases pushes the teenager to take up smoking and most are unable to reject because of the uncool image, rejecting may cause. Most take up the habit so as not to lose the friend and ends up as an addict who saves his friendship but loses his life to smoking.
Media also play a role in attracting them to smoking. A large number actors smoke in the big screen and the media adds a certain degree of coolness to smoking. Still many take up the habit as they feel that smoking makes them look older and matured. Smoking reduces the body weight by decreasing the basal metabolic rate, some teenagers opt this unhealthy weight loosing technique to have a well shaped body. Many studies show that parental smoking can be linked to kids smoking. The easy availability of cigarettes, the low cost also increase the cases of teenage smoking.
The health risk caused by smoking in teenagers is many, the teenage smoker has a smaller lungs and a weaker heart than their non smoker friend. The behavioral changes and depression are seen more in teen smokers than the adult ones. The teen smokers are found to have panic attacks, anxiety and depression most of the time. The teens who smoke are also found to use other addictives like drugs and alcohol.
Most teenage smoker gets ill frequently and misses many classes. The smoking addiction is also found to decrease the academic and athletic interest of student. Smoking causes diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, emphysema etc in teens. People who start smoking in their teen are found to get heart disease and cancer at a lower age than those who took up smoking much later. This is because the earlier they start the more they smoke. Passive smoking in children can cause severe breathing problems in most of them. Children who's both parents smoke are at a higher risk of developing cancer.
Smoking during pregnancy poses a risk for the parent and the child, it is found that babies of smoking mothers are underweight and most are still born. A shocking fact is that pregnant teens are found to take up smoking. Most of the teenage mothers to be believe that, low weight babies are better as it relieves the delivery pain. And some try to reduce their pregnancy mood swings and depression by lighting a cigarette. Studies show that the smoking rate in pregnant women is on decline, when that of pregnant teens is shooting up.
Often the knowledge about your teenagers smoking addiction comes as a shock to the parent. The after effect of this sudden shocking news as in many case will be, shouting, emotional blackmailing and even house arrest. But this doesn’t seem to work with your teenager in most cases. Teenage is a very fragile age and they are easily agitated, so the best things that work are open heart to heart talk.
Always make you child feel that they are the most special person and sit and give your ear to their thoughts and feeling and why he started it in the first place. Make him aware of the different issues this habit is going to cost and if needed take them for counseling. Keep them occupied so that they don’t get an idle point to slip back. It is usually easy to lose this habit in your teen, because it might not have changed into addiction. If you are a smoker, try quitting together it really will work for both you and your child. Be with them and ensure them that you as a family can overcome everything.
Today's teen are the future of the nation and make them choose a healthy way of living so as to have a healthy world ahead. “If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry will decline, just as a population which does not give birth will eventually dwindle.” RJ Reynolds, researcher 1984.