According to the Office of Adolescent Health, there were around 4.7 million middle and high school smokers in 2015. This is quite a frightening figure as these adolescents go on to become addicted smokers for the rest of their lives.
A good approach to understand such prevalence of smoking among teenagers would be to understand why they began it. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons that teenagers take on this unhealthy habit:
Negative Role Modeling In Family
Teenagers adopt a lot of lifestyle habits from their elders. If your kid has watched you smoke throughout his childhood, he/she is more likely to emulate this habit. While you may have your reasons for smoking, such as relaxing or staying awake, it may not be a good influence on your kids.
Talk to your teens about the dangers of smoking and admit that although you smoke, you are not proud of your habit. Also, it would be a good idea to try and curtail your own smoking habits.
Since teen years are times of great uncertainty for adolescents, they are more likely to adopt unhealthy habits at this stage of their lives. The need to fit in with their ‘cool’ friends is what prompts them to try it. It is very difficult for teens to resist peer pressure. Parents must ensure that they tackle the issue sensitively and equip their kids with strategies to say ‘no’.
Similar to the point made above, teens are trying to exert their independence by making their own choices. Choosing to smoke not only allows them to exhibit defiance, but also makes them feel as if they have made an adult decision.
Being angry at your teen may not be a good option, as it can make him/her more rebellious. Offer help and support whenever you can to help you teen to get rid of the habit.
Television is filled with good-looking celebrities stylishly puffing smoke in the air. From TV shows such as Mad Men to movies like Fight Club, it’s as if smoking is an integral part of Hollywood. Teens want to relate to these models and hence start smoking.
Although it’s unfavorable health consequences are known, it is easily available in most parts of the United States. Without any difficulties, teenagers can easily get cigarettes whenever they want to.
Rekha Shrivastava is a renowned hypnotist and rehabilitation counselor in Rochester, New York. With an empathetic approach and a friendly attitude, she has helped many teens with smoking cessation. Her services also include pain management and stress management through hypnosis. Get in touch to book a free consultation.