Last week, I sat in on a smoking prevention training and here’s some of what I learned:
- Most people start using tobacco products (including cigarettes) during their teens.
- In the U.S. alone, 3,800 young people under 18 will smoke their first cigarette, and 1,000 young people will become daily cigarette smokers. At the same time, more than 1,200 people in this country die daily due to smoking.
- There isn’t a significant difference in the number of male vs female young smokers.
- Young people are at risk for becoming smokers if their parents smoke, their social group approves of smoking, they are doing poorly in school, think poorly of themselves as well as many other factors.
- Young people who smoke are likely to have cardiovascular and lung damage that pose long-term health complications.
- Grades are correlated with tobacco use, with young people who have used tobacco being less likely to get As in school.
- Young people who use tobacco are subsequently at risk for using alcohol, other drugs, and engaging in risky sexual behavior.
Remember, “prevention is better than cure!” For more on the effects of smoking, as well as tips for parents to begin talking to children and teens, check out the following:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention- Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth & Young Adults
American Lung Association- Tips for Parents
*Teen Friendly Site* Above The Influence- Tobacco & Nicotine (Also contains links to info on other drugs)
Trying to quit? Smokefree.gov- Find Tools to Help You Quit
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