According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States, 99% of smokers tried their first cigarette by the age of 26. However a significant percentage of smokers tried tobacco products in their teens.
This disturbing trend is increasing day by day and is not showing signs of decline. Smoking clinics and rehabilitation centres are abuzz with teenage patients, who become heavy smokers, even before they reach adulthood.
Some of the undesirable consequences, in addition to mouth and lung cancer, have been discussed here under.
The earlier a person starts smoking, much sooner is the chance of the smoker becoming an addict of nicotine. Each puff of cigarette forces the inhalation of hundreds of unwanted chemicals into the lungs.
- Teenagers find themselves becoming hard core addicts of nicotine and will go to any extent to get their daily intake of nicotine. They become soft targets for manipulation at the hands of unscrupulous con men.
- Nicotine addiction controls and negatively influences brain functioning. By subjecting young students to an artificial high, cigarette smoking makes them believe that it relieves stress and brings peace of mind. Teenagers begin to retaliate anti-smoking activities.
Withdrawal from healthy activities
Early smokers undergo considerable amount of psychological and emotional stress and end up becoming introverts.
- Smoking casts a negative impression in the eyes of many peers and seniors.
- Tobacco products increase physical dependence on nicotine and forces teenagers to avoid the company of non-smokers.
- Teenage smokers reside in a self-created shell, denying themselves of valuable opportunities in education and sports, that come their way.
- Relationships with family and friends become strained.
- Nicotine neutralizes taste buds and food becomes tasteless. Healthy lifestyle is at stake by suppressing appetite and creating an artificial dislike for a wholesome diet.
Smoking can challenge your appealing looks
Teenagers who have started smoking will find the harsh effects of smoking on their looks. No longer can look clean, groomed and confident. They start looking miserable and develop the following signs:
- Their teeth become stained and dull. This is embarrassing when they talk or smile. Oral hygiene is at stake.
- Hair becomes dull and lifeless and even starts falling.
- Skin becomes sore and rough, due to release of toxins in the body. Wrinkles start forming in the face and this starts giving an aged look.
- Smoking has serious side effects on the ability to enjoy sex, both for boys and girls. It affects fertility.
Inability to manage pocket money allowances
Pocket money gets drained at an alarming rate, much before the due date of replenishment. Consequently,
- It raises the eyebrows of parents and guardians. Teenagers may be ridiculed and chided.
- They may not be able to buy useful things like books and sports material due to paucity of funds.
- They may resort to anti-social activities such as theft, deceit and manipulation in order to earn money to fund their cravings.
The perils of teen smoking have become a cause of concern Health Authorities, the Government and Parents, all over the world.
As the leading cause of preventable deaths, teen smoking is engulfing the younger generation with the harsh side effects of nicotine addiction.