How to Help Your Teen Give Up Smoking
Why do Teens Smoke?
If you ask teen smokers why they smoke, they will give five types of answers.
- My friends smoke.
- My parents smoke.
- I think it is cool.
- I just want to try it.
- There is no harm in smoking occasionally.
Health Risks of Smoking
- If you smoke a cigarette, you will have 11 minutes less to live.
- Every cigarette you take will reduce blood flow for more than an hour.
- Continuous smoking reduces a smoker’s life by seven to eight years.
- Smoking causes erectile dysfunction in men.
- Smoking causes high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
- Smoking causes fertility problems.
- Continuous smoking blocks the vessels to the brain. This can cause dementia.
- Smoking causes mouth cancer, lung cancer and throat cancer. Study shows 90 percent of lung cancer cases are because of smoking.
- Eyes are sensitive to smoke. Smoking increases risk of cataracts.
- There are at least 400 toxic substances in cigarettes. The most damaging are:
- Tar: A carcinogenic substance that causes cancer
- Nicotine: An addictive which increases cholesterol levels in the body
- Carbon monoxide: A poisonous gas which reduces oxygen in the body
How to Quit Smoking – A Seven Point Guide For Teens
Overcome the temptation
Don’t believe the smoking endorsements from your favorite actors. Don’t fall into the trap of tobacco companies. If your friends smoke, don’t feel pressurized. Help them to overcome the temptation of smoking. Think about all those celebrities who died early because of excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, and drugs.
Smoking damages your system
Smoking does not do any good to your body or mind, it damages your creativity. Smoking has adverse effects on your respiratory, circulatory and nervous system.
Smoking is wastage of money
Consider this, if you quit smoking you can save lot of money which can be used later to buy cool gadgets, clothes, even gifts to your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Beware of cancer and heart diseases
Smoking is the main reason behind mouth cancer, throat cancer and lung cancer. Smoking causes cardiovascular disease, which means you will have poor blood circulation, chest pain, heart attacks and strokes. You will die early.
Best Ways to Help Teens Quit Smoking
Parents, teachers, and other elders can help teens quit smoking or stop them getting into smoking. Here are 10 best ways to help teens quit smoking.
1. Learn why the teen is smoking
Mass media influence, smoking friends or parents, and tendency to become cool are some of the reasons that lure teen into smoking. You cannot help your teen quit smoking until you know the real cause. Once you get into the root of the problem, you’ll be better equipped to help teen quit smoking.
2. Become an example
Parents and teachers have tremendous influence on teens. If parents and teachers smoke, it is more likely that teens will smoke. If you want to discourage teens from smoking, either don’t smoke or never smoke in front of them. Don’t set rules such as smoking is not allowed in my house. Teens are rebellious by nature, and your strictness will have negative impact.
3. Don’t be didactic
Simply talking about health risks of smoking may not help your teen. Tell the real life stories of people who died young because of tobacco related diseases. “Don’t smoke” is an important message but it will work only when you illustrate with proper examples, for instance: Smoking causes bad breath, cough, and wrinkles. It will also make you smell.
Most of the teens believe there is nothing harm in occasional smoking. However, research shows once a teen begins to smoke, he/she finds hard to quit. Talk to the teens, show concern on their activities. Tell them the truth: It is easier to get addicted but quitting is very hard. Instill positive vibes, tell them even though it is hard to quit, they have will power to quit smoking.
6. Tell your teens to choose non-smoker friends
If the teen has a smoker friend, it is more likely that he/she will smoke. Encourage teens to leave friends who are not willing to quit smoking, and befriend those who have quitted smoking or are non-smoker. Involve your teens in creative activities, and make them believe if they can hold out long, cravings will simply pass away.
7. Stop-smoking products
Consult a doctor and help your teen choose stop-smoking products. Chewing gums, candy, cloves, and cinnamon can also help quit smoking.
8. Participate in your teens daily activities
Some of the teens pick up smoking because of stress. Smoking does not relieve stress, but pushes them into complications. Show your appreciation on good choices your teen makes, and talk about the consequences of bad choices.
Motivation plays an important role in a teen’s life. Motivate young people to quit smoking. Take an active stance against teen smoking and support anti-smoking campaigns.
10. There is no second chance in life
Help your teen realize there is no retake in life. When a mistake is committed, it will affect your entire life. If your teen succeeds in quitting, congratulate and reward them with something they want. Not just smoking, your teen may also engage in substance abuse, therefore, you must also help your teen tackle substance abuse.