Smoking Among Teenagers
Young teenagers are the most likely to start smoking194. When 13 to 14-year-olds attempt their first cigarette, they are usually unaware of the potential danger they are exposing themselves to.
The short-term health consequences of smoking in young people include:
- Respiratory and non-respiratory damage.
- Nicotine addiction.
- The risk of additional substance usage.
The fact that most young people who smoke frequently continue to smoke into adulthood adds to the long-term health implications of childhood smoking195.
What are the Causes of Teenage Smoking196?
Teens smoke for a variety of reasons, including:
- Casually attending a party or hanging out with pals
- Or as a coping mechanism for stress, life traumas, or attention difficulties.
As a result, there are numerous variables that encourage teenagers to become smokers. In most situations, many factors have combined effects on the individuals, resulting in a high likelihood of smoking habit acceptance.
What are the Effects of Teenage Smoking197?
Teenagers who are habitual smokers are at an elevated risk for health problems during their adolescent and young adult years, despite the fact that the health consequences of smoking are a function of both the length and amount of smoking.
Unfortunately, most of these adolescent smokers will continue to smoke into their adult lives. According to one study, half of all adolescent males and females who begin smoking will continue to smoke for at least 16–20 years.
Cigarette smoking during youth affects teenage:
- Lung growth
- Maximum lung function
- And overall fitness
- As well as raising the risk of respiratory diseases.
People who begin smoking at an early age are more likely to develop high levels of nicotine dependence than those who begin later in life, making quitting more difficult and accumulating more negative health effects. Delaying smoking cessation efforts past the adolescent years has negative health consequences both during adolescence and later in life.
Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Programs for Teenagers
The success of a smoking cessation program is determined not only by a support strategy for smokers but also by other factors, such as the manner in which
- The first lecture is delivered (informative but not preachy)
- The accessibility of treatment programs
- The anonymity of the program
- And the voluntary program198
In addition, some noteworthy findings to mention that enhance the effectiveness of cessation programs for teenagers include the following199:
- If your best friend is a nonsmoker, quitting smoking is more likely. The influence of peer pressure is undeniable.
- The smoking status of family members has a substantial impact on smoking cessation. This emphasizes the significance of the social environment.
There were links found between quitting smoking and other types of health behavior:
- Subjects who drank less alcohol were significantly more likely to give up.
- Those who engaged in leisure activities were likewise more inclined to give up.
Read to know more on everything you need to know about Smoking Cessation Programs, here.
To sum up, stopping the influx of new smokers, primarily teens, is the most critical approach to stop the smoking pandemic. To quit smoking, teenagers need to understand why they are smoking, what are the negative consequences of smoking, and be guided along the way through smoking cessation programs. While stopping smoking is hard, it is still not impossible.
- 194 Winkleby, M. A., Feighery, E., Dunn, M., Kole, S., Ahn, D., & Killen, J. D. (2004). Effects of an advocacy intervention to reduce smoking among teenagers. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 158(3), 269-275.
- 196 Anjum, M. S., Srikanth, M. K., Reddy, P. P., Monica, M., Rao, K. Y., & Sheetal, A. (2016). Reasons for smoking among the teenagers of age 14–17 years in Vikarabad town: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry, 14(1), 80.
- 197 Mermelstein, R. (2003). Teen smoking cessation. Tobacco control, 12(suppl 1), i25-i34.
- 198 Minary, L., Cambon, L., Martini, H., Wirth, N., Acouetey, D. S., Thouvenot, F., ... & Alla, F. (2013). Efficacy of a smoking cessation program in a population of adolescent smokers in vocational schools: a public health evaluative controlled study. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 1-10.
- 199 Paavola, M., Vartiainen, E., & Puska, P. (2001). Smoking cessation between teenage years and adulthood. Health education research, 16(1), 49-57.