Do you remember your teenage days and how your parents managed you? Well, now it’s your turn.
If you are a parent to a teenager, it means your child has reached that challenging stage where he or she is not fully mature either physically or mentally, but is now more than a child. It is also the time when your child will listen to friends more than you.
One major concern that you may have as a parent to a teenager is to keep your teen away from any bad habits. One such bad habit is smoking.
Why teenagers smoke? Smoking among teenagers begins innocently, without any notice. Initially, teenagers start smoking for curiosity, and then continue for pleasure. Finally, they get addicted.
Teen Smoking Facts:
If you think you are alone, here are some facts you should take a look at:
- Around 3000 children start smoking per day.
- Around 20% teens in US are smokers.
- It is difficult to quit, if they start in a young age.
- According to a survey, 69.4 % teen smokers were never asked for age proof, while buying cigarettes.
- Retailers sell cigarettes to 62.4 % under eighteen teens.
- Most of the smokers are below 21 years of age.
- Around 20% teens in US smoke regularly.
- Around 90% adult smokers started smoking from teenage.
[ Read: How To Raise A Teenage Son ]
Reasons For Teenage Smoking:
There are many unknown reasons for smoking. Below are common reasons that make your child smoke:
- Smoking usually starts with a group of friends in a study place or in any other meeting place.
- Teenagers feel smoking is nothing out of the ordinary, as their friends do it too.
- Teens are more likely to start smoking if their parents or family members are smokers.
- Teens smoke to get out of stress. Nicotine gives pleasure and a good feeling.
- Teens get attracted to smoking due to advertisements and brands.
- Teens get attracted towards smoking through movies and other sources in media.
- Around 44% of teens do not know the negative effects of smoking.
- Rebellion against something
- As a demonstration / act of independence
- To appear cool or older
- Peer pressure
[ Read: Important Life Lessons For Teenagers ]
Smoking Effects On Teens:
Smoking has become a common fashion statement among teens. The health of teenagers who smoke gets seriously affected:
- Nicotine is not an addiction, but exceedingly poisonous, enough to kill someone with just one drop.
- Around 1,500 kids become new smokers every day and die before reaching mid-age
- Around 400 extremely poisonous chemicals enter into a smokers’ body.
- Tobacco slows down the physical activities of your kids. It taps blood vessels and strains the heart. It cuts down oxygen supply and shortens the breath.
- Nicotine fastens the heart beat and reduces its efficiency.
- Smoking girls will develop hair on their face.
- Quitting smoking is not an easy task for teens and 40% of them have failed.
- Smoking easily leads to lung cancer. Even 5 cigarettes per day slug lung function and growth.
- Teenage girls are more susceptible to lung cancer.
- Young smokers can become emotional soon and are psychologically weak.
- Smoking leads to other diseases like heart attacks, strokes, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and others.
- Teen smokers will easily get addicted to alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.
- Smoking spoils your beauty as your nails look sick and your teeth become yellow.
- Skin ages faster in teenagers who smoke.
- Teenagers who smoke get stinking breath.
- Teen smokers produce more phlegm than non-smokers.
- Smokers cannot have a sound sleep.
- Teen smokers face early death because of smoking related diseases.
- Teen smokers easily get depressed.
- Smokers easily catch common cold.
[ Read: How To Motivate Teenager ]
Ways To Make Your Teens Quit Smoking:
With proper guidance and approach, it is indeed possible to gently steer away your teenager from smoking. Some of the ways on how to prevent teenagers from smoking are as follows:
1. Act Early.
If you find that your teen is already smoking, it would be necessary for you to motivate him to stop the habit. Since youth have a rebellious nature, it will simply not be enough to reprimand your teenager. Things will be repeated over again, stealthily if needed, if your approach is negative.
[ Read: Teenage Problems With Parents ]
2. Set An Example, Be A Role Model.
If as an adult you are smoking, your teenager has every right to question your authority to prevent him from smoking! As a reliable parent, stop this bad habit so that it does not influence your teen in any way. Your kids will try to follow you.
3. Explain the Consequences of Smoking.
Many teenagers who smoke and are not at all aware of its perils. This is why they should be taught about it. If your teenager gains knowledge on effects of teenage smoking there is every chance that they will stop smoking.
4. Show Effects of Smoking.
Today’s youths are more conscious about their appearance. Explain to your teen as to how smoking will damage his skin. You can also show him on internet or if possible a real example, that how smoking can make him look much older sooner.
[ Read: Cutting Behavior In Teenagers ]
5. Reduce Allowance:
In order to make your teenager quit smoking, you can deduct his monthly allowance. Remember always to keep a track on your child whether or not he is indulging in other wrong means of earning money and suiting his requirements.
6. Conversations Helps.
Speak to your child and understand what has driven him to start smoking. Many a time a casual chitchat can help solve bigger matters in parenting. Advice like a friend. If they don’t listen, try to reason. Find ways how can you encourage your teen to quit smoking as quick as possible. Teach him the count 1 to 20 slowly whenever he feels the urge to smoke a cigarette.
More Tips To Stop Teen Smoking:
- Educate them about the deadly diseases caused by smoking.
- If your teen is not able to quit, involve a child counselor.
- Involve them in meditation classes as meditation will make them mentally strong and help quit smoking.
- It is not easy to quit smoking only with will power. They need nicotine replacement therapies.
- Give them all support to quit smoking and do not lose your cool or demean them for being a smoker.
- Some teens smoke to lose weight. Educate them that this is a wrong and unhealthy way.
- Make your teen write in a diary that he or she will quit smoking.
- Make your teen set date to quit smoking in his or her calendar.
- Make your teen throw away all things related to smoking.
- Keep your teen away from smoke triggers. Wash your teen’s cigarette smelling clothes and cars and make them smell pleasant.
- Try to learn what makes them smoke and solve the problem accordingly.
- In the process of stopping smoking, your teen may feel weak physically and mentally, get into depression, get head and stomach aches and jumpiness. There is no need to worry, as these symptoms are common.
- Involve your teen in other activities, give healthy foods and keep him or her happy.
- Give your teen gums or carrot sticks. This may help stop smoking.
- Keep them away from other smokers.
- Make them quit gradually by decreasing the number of cigarettes each day.
Don’t Worry, Be Patient:
It is always good for your teens to avoid smoking. Children who are loved and cared have less chances of getting into this habit. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Loneliness and insecurity are two reasons that lead to teens learn smoking with their friends.
- It is normal for you as a parent to worry about your teen smoking. There is no need to get tense.
- You’ll come across many difficulties, but it is very important for you to be patient.
- Your teen will take time to realize the negative effects. Support your teen positively to quit smoking.
- Your love and care will definitely help him or her to quit smoking. Keep yourself strong and get prepared for the next step.
[ Read: How To Deal With Teenage Attitude ]
We understand that it can be very difficult for a parent to know that the child has started smoking. Remember that teenage is a phase when your child will want to try out new things, want to be rebellious and follow fads blindly. This is just another phase of growing up, and shall pass soon. The main thing for you to remember is to be a friend to your teen and keep that positivity on.
We hope you find this article useful and do share it with your friends who have teenagers at home. We would like to know your views and experiences as well, share them with us and other readers in the comment box below.
Reference : 1
- 5 Best Ways To Deal With Teenage Attitude
- Top 10 Helpful Tips To Deal With Teenagers
- 10 Important Teenage Behavioural Problems And Solutions
- 6 Simple Tips To Deal With Your Disrespectful Teens
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