Do you remember the days when smoking seemed to be absolutely everywhere? Those days are long gone. However, teen smoking is still very prevalent in high schools across the US. With the popularity of e-cigarettes making smoking “cool” again, changing attitudes towards smoking are making teen smoking problematic once again.
The danger of E-cigarettes
While teens are smoking less traditional cigarettes every year, the rate of e-cigarette use is steadily increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of traditional cigarette smoking in teens dropped from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 9.2 percent in 2014. However, teen smoking in terms of e-cigarettes has increased from 1.5 percent of teens in 2011 to 13.5 percent in 2014.
Right now, e-cigarettes are a growing threat to teens everywhere. Loads of misinformation combined with the attractive flavors and design of e-cigarettes has contributed to the rise in smokers. Teens may be told that e-cigarettes have less nicotine or are not as bad for you as traditional cigarettes. One tobacco researcher, Stanton Gantz, describes these devices as “cigarettes on training wheels”.
Nicotine’s negative effect on teenage brains is a serious cause for concern. Researchers say that when a teen’s brain is exposed to nicotine, it alters the the development of the prefrontal cortex. This eventually affects decision making. Because of this, teen smoking may cause attention problems and a greater risk of cognitive impairments and psychiatric disorders.
Preventing your teen from smoking traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or hookah may seem like a difficult task. If you’re worried your teen might start smoking or is already smoking, consider the following preventative measures:
- Set a good example: If you smoke, your teen is more likely to smoke. If you do smoke, you should quit. Explain to your teen how miserable you are smoking and how difficult it is for you to quit smoking.
- Appeal to your teen’s desire to look good: Talk to your teen about the effects smoking has on physical appearance. Show them pictures of people who have smoked for years with yellowing teeth and terrible skin. Tell them about the acrid smell that stays on clothes and hair.
- Understand peer pressure: If your teen starts smoking, it’s most likely because their friends smoke too. Talk to your teen about what to say if they are offered a cigarette or a puff on a hookah. Help them practice a response to an offer to smoke.
- Inform them of the expense: Smoking is super expensive. Your teen needs to know that before they start taking up the habit. Sit them down and go through what a year’s worth of cigarettes would cost. Talk to them about what else they could buy with that money (clothes, electronics, makeup, etc.)
Solstice can help
Many times, teens begin smoking because they’re struggling with anxiety and depression. Solstice helps teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties.
For more information about Solstice, call today at (866) 278-3345.