Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Educate Youthful Individuals Smoking

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that approximately 3,600 young individuals age 12 to 17 initiate cigarette smoking; 1,100 young people smoke cigarettes daily. Further, the American Heart Association cites that adult smokers face an increased risk for stroke and heart attack. Teenagers tend to believe smoking will lower their stress and make them appear "cool" rather than insecure. It is important that young individuals understand the true nature of smoking. A number of strategies can be utilized when educating youths about smoking.


Teaching young people about smoking

1. Inform them that smoking is undesirable, personally and socially. Explain that smoking is an unattractive habit, which does not reduce their stress--it only adds to it by way of diseases such as lung cancer. Additionally, fewer places are allowing smoking on their property because many individuals dislike being near cigarette smoke.

2. Explain to them tobacco is addictive. It also takes away the freedom to stop smoking at will. Young people like to maintain control of their lives. Tell them that this control can be taken away once they become addicted to smoking, regardless of their desire to stop.

3. Inform them that smoking is not associated with maturity. There are many adults who do not smoke. Explain that they should not view those who advise them against smoking as threats. Smoking is the actual enemy.

4. Debunk the myth that most teenagers smoke by pointing out that less than 20 percent of teens smoke often. Youths who smoke as a result of peer pressure are succumbing to a minority.

5. Design your home so it is smoke-free. Try not to smoke; it will be difficult to get the young person to trust your anti-smoking advice if you are a smoker. Explain to older siblings that many youths smoke as a result of seeing their older siblings smoke. Ask them to set appropriate examples.

6. State that it is okay to say "no" to smoking. Saying "no" does not only apply to drugs and alcohol; it applies to tobacco as well. If a teenager is at a vulnerable stage in his life, he may feel pressured to conform, even if he doesn't really want to. He may succumb to the temptation just because it is present. Teach him coping skills that will help him to stay true to his own needs. Practice role-play with him. Create scenarios that help him to sharpen his refusal skills. Tell him that whenever he feels pressured to smoke to remember the danger it brings.

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