Causes of Teenage Smoking

Here we explore the causes of teenage smoking. Learn about issues associated with teen smoking and the affects teenage smoking has on individuals and others. Smoking is very addictive; 6 out of 10 teens that start smoking will still be smoking as adults.

Teen smoking is a very real issue. Although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that teen smoking is down since the 1990s, the problem has remained relatively stable throughout the 2000s. Teen smoking still affects 54 percent of high school students, and one in three who start smoking as a teen will die later of smoking related causes.

It is very important to prevent teen smoking. But in order to do that, one must first understand why many teens start smoking in the first place.

Causes of teenage smoking

There are different reasons why teenagers start smoking. Very few of them start with the idea that they will keep smoking. Indeed, the CDC teen smoking statistics indicate that only three out of 100 high school students that smoke think that they will still be smoking in five years. Many of them feel that it is a temporary thing that they are doing. Unfortunately, the truth is that 60 out of 100 high school students are still smoking seven to nine years later.

Here are some of the causes of teenage smoking:

Peer pressure: This is one of the biggest reasons that teens start smoking. They do it because their friends do. As many as 4,000 teenagers try tobacco every day. For the most part, adults who smoke now started as teenagers. It is important to realize that most teens get their first cigarette from friends.

Media: Portrayals of smoking in the media are nearly all glamorous. Heroes smoke almost as much as villains. And many of villains that smoke in movies and on TV have a certain coolness to them. Not only that, but smoking appears in music videos as well. Cigars are especially seen as a status symbol that goes with living the high life.

Help losing weight: For some, teen smoking can help them lose a few pounds. Instead of eating, many teens - especially girls - will smoke a cigarette. This satisfies a craving, and keeps their minds off food. In a culture obsessed with image, teen smoking can help some teenagers achieve the look they want.

Health consequences seem far off: For many young people, teen smoking doesn’t seem like an immediate danger. Teenagers sometimes feel invincible, and the health problems associated with teen smoking don’t show up for years. It may seem harmless to some teenagers to smoke while they are young - they tell themselves that after a few years they will quit and live healthier.

Issues associated with teen smoking

One of the biggest issues associated with teen smoking is that of widespread public health. Smoking can cause problems ranging from heart attack to lung cancer to overall poor health. This means that the cost to society in terms of treating illness down the road will increase.

Teen smoking not only affects the teenagers involved, but it also affects others. Second hand smoke has been recognized as dangerous to the health of those that breathe it in. As a result, several states have introduced smoking bans in order to limit the amount of damage smokers do to those around them. Smoking bans can result in fines when they are broken.

Indoor smoking bans. Many states ban smoking indoors. They require smokers to head outside (and stand away from doors and windows). This is an attempt to keep cigarette smoke from causing damage in a confined space. In some states, smoking is even banned in bars and restaurants.

Outdoor smoking bans. In some states, banning indoor smoking is not sufficient. Leaders worry about children and others inhaling others’ cigarette smoke even while outside. Some states have banned smoking in outdoor public areas, such as parks. There are designated smoking areas that have to be used.

Also, so-called “sin taxes” are levied against smokers in some states. Taxes on cigarettes are often higher than other taxes. This means that you have to pay a lot more for your cigarettes. This can get expensive for a teen that begins smoking.

Finally, it is important to note that teen smoking can lead to other problems. Teen smokers are more likely than non-smokers to abuse alcohol or try illegal drugs. Teen smoking has also been linked to a higher incidence of fighting, risky sexual behaviors, depression and attempted suicide, and a greater likelihood to carry weapons.

Teen smoking isn’t just about the health risks. There are other concerns and issues associated with becoming a teen smoker. It is important to understand that once a teen starts smoking, other problems could follow.

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