Effects of Teen Smoking

The effects of teen smoking reach well beyond their social image or legal issues. This article contains possible effects of teenagers smoking cigarettes, health effects of using tobacco products in general, and statistics on teen smoking and addiction to tobacco.

Teen smoking is a serious problem. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports in their teen smoking statistics, that 54 percent of high school students try smoking at some point. Teen smoking and experimentation with other forms of tobacco are almost rites of passage in some ways. And, the younger one is when smoking starts, the more likely the behavior is to carry on into adulthood.

Unfortunately, teen smoking can set a pattern for later in life. Even though most high school students think that they will quit, more than 60 percent of them are still smoking seven to nine years later. This means that there are some very serious health risks that can result from teen smoking.

Health problems and risks associated with teen smoking

There are very definite - and proven - health effects associated with teen smoking and other forms of tobacco use. And teen smoking can have worse effects on the body in the long term, since there is still some development taking place during these formative years. Here are some of the likely effects of teen smoking:

Coughing. Teen smoking can cause a great deal of coughing. This is because smoking irritates membranes in the nose and throat, causing mucus (phlegm) production. This mucus can cause coughing as the body works to dislodge it.

  • Shortness of breath. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that your body is getting. This means that you may need to breath more rapidly in order to get the oxygen that you need. This can lead to shortness of breath.
  • Poor lung function. Also connected to shortness of breath is poor lung function. Smoking reduces your lung capacity and can even damage your lungs. This makes it more difficult to breath. This difficulty can mean that you have less success and ability in sports and other activities. 
  • Respiratory problems. Smoking causes all sorts of respiratory problems. There are many illnesses that can result from smoking - including cancer in the throat, mouth and lungs. Smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, leading to an increase in colds and other sickness and leading to overall reduction in health.
  • Circulatory and hear problems. Smoking can increase the changes of heart attack. Teen smoking is most often associated with respiratory problems, but it can affect circulation as well. Smoking can increase the chances of blood clot, and this can in turn cause stroke. 
  • Addiction. Addiction is a state in which you need something to function properly, or you body goes through troubling and unpleasant symptoms when you stop using it. Teen smoking can lead to nicotine addiction, especially in cigarettes. Additionally, there can be a psychological addiction to the practice of smoking.

It should be noted that using other types of smoke tobacco - such as bidis, kreteks and hookahs - can also be detrimental to health. These items carry many of the same risks as regular cigarettes and can have additional health concerns, such as hernias and infection diseases for shared hookah use.

Health problems associated with other forms of tobacco use

While teen smoking gets a lot of coverage, it is important to note that other forms of tobacco use can be detrimental to one’s health. There are health risks associated with spitless tobacco as well as regular chew. Indeed, many teenagers think that they are reducing their risk by using these tobacco products when they really aren’t. Here are some of the possible health effects of other tobacco products:

Cancer. There is a risk of cancer when using any tobacco product, no matter what the myths of its “safety” are. Cancers of the mouth and throat can result from smokeless tobacco use.

  • Oral problems. Health effects in the mouth can be seen with smokeless tobacco use. This can include receding gums (which can cause the teeth to fall out). Additionally, spots in the mouth can form. Also, smokeless tobacco can discolor the teeth and cause halitosis (bad breath).
  • Addiction. Smokeless tobacco also has nicotine, and this can cause an addiction, making it difficult and unpleasant to quit.

It should be noted that all forms of tobacco use can cause health problems for the user. Additionally, it is worth noting that teen smoking can affect others as well through second hand smoke.

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