To Prevent Teenage Smoking, we have to Understand Why they Start
If we want to help teens stop smoking, then we must ask: what is it that makes a teenager light up that first cigarette? Is it Big Tobacco advertising? Stress? Friends, Parents or Peer Pressure?
The teenage years are a habit forming stage of life and in the rush to be cool or deal with the complicated modern world, smoking is an easy habit to pick up. There are over 125,000 Australians teens between the age of 14-18 who smoke, despite all the efforts to warn them about the harm of cigarettes. This shows that warning isn’t enough in the fight to stop smoking. We have to understand the root causes too. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons teenagers start smoking in order to better understand how we can help prevent them from smoking
The term peer pressure has become so cliché, but it should never be underestimated. At no other time in life is the pull of peer pressure stronger than during the teenage years. Teens want to fit in and want to be cool, even at the expense of their health. It is hard to get many teens to stop smoking if everybody else is doing it. Social media has had a role to play in the way teenagers make decisions whether they be good or not so good.
Cigarettes are claimed to be an unhealthy stress reliever. Some research has shown that Nicotine suppresses the emotions. So when a person is feeling stressed or anxious, they immediately reach for a cigarette and feel that instant relief. However this can also come from that initial cigarette a person smoked. Yes it tasted terrible but once they have mastered the cigarette, it makes them feel good. The unconscious mind is there to protect us mentally as well as emotionally. So when a person takes that first smoke they imagined that the cigarette made them feel better. In actual fact cigarettes increase stress and anxiety due to the toxins and poisons in a cigarette.
Modern teenagers are swimming in stress, some are even drowning in it. With pressures at school, in the family, and about the future, it is no wonder many teenagers turn to cigarettes as a recreational way to forget about pressures of life, even if it is for just a few smoke-filled minutes.
Teenagers are Invincible
With age we recognise the dangers of smoking cigarettes and the number of people who die every day from the effects of smoking. As a young person who is at the beginning of their life, they see themselves as living forever and that smoking won’t hurt them.
Many teens pick up the habit of smoking because there are family members who smoke. Perhaps their parents or even their grandparents smoke. It is difficult for parents to get their teens to stop smoking if they are smokers themselves. Even though teens seem to want to have nothing to do with their parents, they are still looking up to them more than we think.
Above are just a few of the main reasons teenagers start smoking, but they give us some important insights into the habit. Peer pressure shows us that it is important to earnestly encourage teens to be independent and think for themselves. It is acceptable for them to make their own choices.
This may seem like a platitude, but the more we say, the more it will sink in. Stress shows us that we need to take a closer look at how society is shaping teenage life, and more specifically promote a culture of honestly talking about feelings and being able to admit that things have become too much, instead of letting cigarettes become the mouthpiece of teenage stress.
Family influences show us that smoking lights up a chain reaction. If parents and adults struggle to make good decisions, then we can’t expect teens to be able to make them either. We need to be more honest and open as a society about the root causes of smoking instead of just going after Big Tobacco.
Smoking is a habit that can be built upon the foundation of deeper problems in someone’s life, and we need to be able to address those problems if we want to prevent our teenagers from smoking.
Are you a Smoker?
Hypnosis can help you quit smoking in only 60 minutes. Just as healthy habits can be developed, you can also get rid of your smoking habit, under the guidance of a Hypnotherapist.
Maureen Hamilton- Hypnotherapist
Maureen Hamilton is a Hypnotherapist and a Quit Cigarettes in 60 Minutes Specialist. Maureen is a specialist who uses the most effective process to help people quit cigarettes in just 60 minutes with an outstanding success rate of 97.5% using a proven and successful technique which has worked for thousands of clients. Maureen can help you and take you from being a smoker to a non-smoker in just one session and offering a Lifetime Guarantee.
Call Maureen on 1300 619 684 or have a look at those people who have quit smoking and are loving their new life.