Not Cool to Talk about Health Risks to Smoking Teenagers

teenage smoking imageThe recent Surgeon General’s 50-year update on the state of smoking in America provided many sobering facts, but the one that has resonated with parents is studies showing that for every adult who dies from smoking they are replaced by two youth or young adults who take up smoking.

If you want to know how you can help keep 5.6 million future adults from dying read on.

Special emphasis is being put on tackling this issue for kids who start smoking early – age group 12-17 years – over the next decade.

A major ad campaign is already being rolled out in the next few weeks.

The report highlights that though the amount of nicotine in a cigarette may be less today than 50-years ago the altered make-up of a cigarette today makes them more addictive quicker and this includes to the very young.

For many reason smoking is not cool.

We know conclusively smoking cigarettes increases your chance of premature death or poor quality of life through all number of health-related problems such as: Cancer, COPD, heart disease… the list is long.

But when you’re a teenager the impact of smoking today is so far off into the future that it doesn’t register as a reason not to smoke today. Remember when you were young you were going to live forever right?

We know this also from adult smokers. Adults still smoke even though they know all about the health risks, so why would we think teenagers would be different?

If you’re the parent or guardian of a teenager you need to talk about other reasons not to smoke and why cigarettes are not cool. You need to get their attention by talking in terms your adolescent can relate to and thereby listen.

Teenagers like to look attractive to others through what they wear and how they look. Maybe they’ve discovered the dating or just want to hang out with somebody they like. Here are just some of the side-effects of smoking that could make teenagers sit up and take notice of being a non-smoker:

Smokers smell like smoke: Their clothes and hair smell of smoke, and even washing doesn’t get rid of the smell. It gets “baked in” to everything and its about as attractive to other people as standing next to smoking chimney!

Bad breath and stained teeth: The chemicals in cigarettes – there are about 7,000 these days – are plenty but they do not include perfume or deodorant! Cigarettes cause staining of teeth – not just yellowing – but browning. This staining and the odor from your breath keeps your friends and that special boy or girl at distance from you. Ever kissed a chimney?

Wrinkles and premature aging: In all the ways that smoking impacts teenagers making them unattractive to friends and opposite sex can make it really “not cool.” Smoking age’s people really quickly – even teenagers – and it is difficult to reverse it. Sure, wrinkles won’t suddenly appear nor will their hair turn grey overnight. But for those that want to stay attractive to others then smoking doesn’t help your skin keep it’s glean.

Parents and guardians are the best judge of the kid’s “hot buttons” and which of the topics above will resonate with their teenager. There may be other topics not listed you can think that would get the ears to listen. Go for it!

But for sure start jabbering on about cancer and heart disease and for most it is a turn-off.

Let’s do our best to put a huge dent in those 5.6 million youngsters today at risk of dying early from smoking by discussing just how “uncool” it is to smoke by matching the message to the person!

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this article and how you’ll be helping to save a teenage life.

Erika Slater, CH
Director
Free At Last Hypnosis

Filed Under: Stop Smoking

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About the Author

Erika Slater is Director of Free At Last Hypnosis and Smoke Free At Last and based in the metro-west Boston and Worcester Massachusetts region. Erika is a Certified Hypnotherapist and writes articles and books on the subject of hypnosis and alternative health. Erika has been a professional hypnotist since 2004 and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists. Erika has her office in North Grafton, Massachusetts where to spends most of her clinic hours helping people quit smoking and losing weight.

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