COMMON EXPERIENCES OF TEENS WHO SMOKE
The fact that teen smoking rates are steadily increasing is disturbing. About 80% of adult smokers started smoking as teenagers.
A lot of smokers give each other rewards in social aspects such as conversations, companionships, and other common social contacts. Research has proven the fact that nicotine has the ability to suppress feelings, suppress appetite for food, is used as stimulation after sex, and is a good way to relax from troubles and feelings of insecurities. People that smoke go to designated areas and congregate around the one that has the light, even when the weather is sub-zero. There they are huddled up against each other in an area, taking in the last drag before the break is over, or they find some kind of shelter to smoke their cigarettes.
Teens like to act as if they are someone special or dangerous. By smoking they can act on those feelings. Because it is so forbidden it becomes more alluring to teens. The problem is that when they take that first puff, they can become addicted. The idea that they are breaking the law or going against their parents and schools is an addiction within itself. Kids like to get attention; it does not matter if it’s good attention or bad attention. They crave attention and by smoking they get big attention. The other teens look at them in all kinds of ways and the adults get upset and don’t know what to do.
Here are some common experiences from teens who smoke.
♣ They tried their first cigarette in sixth or seventh grade
♣ They often do not perform well in school
♣ They feel like they are not a part of the school
♣ They become isolated from other students
♣ They can’t perform as well at sports events
♣ They feel like they have little hope of going to college
♣ They feel like they need a job to support their smoking habit
♣ They are reported to school officials for skipping classes
♣ They start using other illegal substances
♣ They begin experimenting with alcohol and other drugs
♣ They experience pressure from home and school and use tobacco as a form of relief
♣ Teen smokers enjoy trying to hide their smoking
BE THE EXCEPTION IN YOUR GROUP OF FRIENDS IF THEY SMOKE