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Teen Smoking - Is it Cool or Are You Being A Fool?

By Charles Hopkins Published 10/23/2007 | Kids & Teens
Each year more than 1 million people die from tobacco related illnesses.

Because of advertisements and other forms of media that promote smoking, many teens think it is okay and cool to smoke. And now many teens are getting addicted to nicotine and cigarettes.

What Influences Teens To Smoke?

Often the biggest influences for teen smoking are the kid's parents. When a child sees a parent smoking they begin to think it is okay for them to do the same thing.

Though parents are a big influence some other huge influences for teens to smoke are: movies, television, advertising and friends.

Advertisements for smoking that target kids are so effective that the government has issued a policy to discourage tobacco advertisement to children on penalty of fine.

Your teen's friends are also a big influence. Friends of your teen can often be the source that provides the cigarettes. Friends use peer pressure to encourage smoking.

When your teen gets a hold of cigarettes and starts experimenting, nicotine's addicting traits help to quickly ingrain the smoking habit.

Nicotine - The Addicting Drug in Cigarettes

Nicotine is a key ingredient in cigarettes. It is key because it is so highly addictive to the smoker. Nicotine not only is the main cause of the smoking addiction, it is also extremely toxic and causes irritation of lung tissue. It constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure and heart rate and stimulates the central nervous system. In recent years, cigarette makers have been boosting the levels of nicotine in their cigarettes - no doubt to increase smoking addiction and sell more cigarettes.

Smokings Long Term Health Problems

Of the many long-term health problems you can get from smoking, emphysema, heart disease and cancer are the worst. Many people think the only cancer you can get from smoking is lung cancer. This is not true. You can also get mouth, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, urinary gland and kidney cancer.

Smoking is Hard To Quit

The physical craving for nicotine makes it hard for smokers to quit. It may seem hopeless once a smoking habit has begun; however there are many treatments for quitting smoking.

5 Tips To Help Smokers Quit

1- Get rid of all your cigarettes, tobacco, lighters and other smoking paraphernalia.

2- Get support from friends, family or a smoking cessation group.

3- Learn new skills and behaviors you can do when you get the urge to smoke.

4- If needed, get medication for smoking cessation and use it correctly to cut the craving for cigarettes.

5- Be prepared for difficult situations and temptations to relapse.

For some people getting prepared to quit by following the tips above is not enough to successfully follow through. Many people who want to quit smoking have to give themselves additional motivation to stop smoking.

Some additional motivators include:

- Parents focus on how stopping smoking will help their children have less chance of becoming smokers themselves.

- Many people remind themselves of the money they will save each day by not smoking. If cigarettes are averaging 4/pack, and a person smokes a pack a day that is 120/month or 1,440 each year.

- Other smokers who want to quit focus on the ill health effects they are exposing themselves to like heart attack, stroke or cancer.

Bottom line is that smoking is a detrimental habit that causes disease and wastes money. Smoking cigarettes is foolish - the only way to be cool is to quit.