Great Futures Start Here

Teenagers And Smoking

Statistics show that there are as many as 46 million adult cigarette smokers and 3 million teenage smokers in the U.S. By creating awareness about the hazards of smoking, the number of adult smokers has dwindled but the awareness campaigns haven’t made an effect on the teenagers. Research shows that 80% of adult smokers started smoking as teenagers. The reason for this is that when one starts smoking as a teenager, the chances of ending up as an addict increase manifold. Once the body gets used to a certain amount of nicotine present in cigarettes, it begins to crave for it when it is deprived of it. This is where addiction begins.

A majority of teenagers are getting hooked to cigarette smoking for a variety of reasons. Some prominent reasons are:

  • Teens surrounded by family members who smoke can easily take to smoking. They might find it okay to smoke as well.
  • Peer pressure also influences teenagers to smoke as a part of their lifestyle. They may start smoking just to fit in the circle and not be the odd one out. Acceptance by peers is crucial to their self-esteem.
  • Media bombards teens with images of their favorite celebrities or singers smoking at a young age. This is usually presented as being harmless and cool. A teenager may get carried away with such images and want to emulate such personalities.
  • Some teens start smoking as an act of rebellion against their parents or some people of authority.
  • Others smoke to combat their low self-esteem and to reduce stress.
  • Some smoke just for the heck of it. They want to know why there is a fuss about prohibition on smoking.

Whatever are the reasons for smoking, it is very important for teenagers to be aware of the fact that it can be incredibly damaging to their life and future. It can even sabotage their relationships with their loved ones and deeply hurt them. Every time you take a puff, you are greatly damaging your body. Here’s how:

  • Cigarettes have tons of harmful chemicals including tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine, which are highly addictive.
  • Smoking causes diseases like bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease and many types of cancers including lung and mouth cancer.
  • It reduces your endurance when playing sports.
  • It really bad breath and yellow teeth.
  • Research shows that nicotine can cause a significant damage to the growing brain of a teenager.

The special programs at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas like SMART Moves and SMART Leaders prepare teenagers to help them resist alcohol, tobacco, other addictive drugs and premature sexual activity.

For more information visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas, located at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541. You can also call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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