Smoking and peer pressure are two issues every teen will face at some point in their lives. To help make the best choices, you need to present them with the facts.
What to Say as a Parent
Smoking and peer pressure are two things your teen will face during their high school years, if not sooner. And while television ads and medical studies are touting the harm smoking can cause, more teens report that they would listen to their parents over what experts have to say … so it’s best to lay it on the line!
Smoking Is Addictive
Study after study has shown that smoking cigarettes is highly addictive. Many compare quitting cigarettes to quitting heroin or other hard-core drugs. Point out to your teen that while it seems like they can control their habit, there will come a point when their bodies become used to the nicotine, and they’ll want to have more in order to get the same rush. This might lead them to multiple packs of cigarettes a day or perhaps unfiltered or menthol brands. And once they “upgrade” to stronger cigarettes, the cycle continues.
Smoking Is Harmful
With each inhalation from a cigarette, your teenager will be taking in chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Most of these chemicals are carcinogenic, and that’s only the beginning.
The inhalation of smoke can also damage the lung lining, which can then make the smoker more susceptible to colds and chronic bronchitis.
Since smoking also diminishes oxygen in the blood stream, the cells of the body aren't getting all the energy they need, which can cause cell death.
Smoking Is Costly
Each pack of cigarettes averages about $5.00, meaning that a pack-a-day habit adds up to $150 per month! Smoking definitely becomes an expensive habit to support. And quitting is no better. Smoking cessation therapies are even more costly.
If your teen were to put this money in a bank account, they could pay for their first car outright – which might help them turn down the pressure!
Smoking and peer pressure often go hand-in-hand, but when you inform your teen of the facts, they are more likely to use good judgment when offered a habit-forming substance.