Is smoking still a problem among teenagers?
Dounia talks about the motives behind teenage smoking and why it is so dangerous.
The phenomenon of smoking is one of the most harmful social phenomena that have spread among many age groups of society, but it is clear that smoking during the teenage years is the most problematic.
A teenager goes through several stages while smoking. It begins with the experience to test the taste, and then the habituation stage, where he or she subconsciously puts a cigarette in the mouth. The third stage is the endurance stage, where the teenager's body adapts to tobacco and needs to increase doses. Finally, there is addiction and submission.
Research has shown that about 11% of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15 worldwide consume tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars. As soon as pupils between the ages of 15 and 19 leave their schools for the day, many of them rush to a pack of cigarettes, almost automatically. And recent statistics showed that the percentage of males who smoke at that stage of life rose to 52%, from 42% ten years ago. As for the increase in the rate of girls during the same period, it was frightening, reaching 110% from 39%.
Teen smoking can start innocently, but it may become a long-term problem. Most adult smokers begin smoking in their teens, prompting health circles to shout a warning. Specialists believe that if adult smokers have children, this family picture is representative on how those children will grow up, most likely with an acceptive outlook about smoking, prompting more health problems when they become adults.
"Smoking...requires...a solid personality to withstand the repeated temptations of friends."
A teenager may resort to smoking for several reasons, such as imagining that this habit gives him or her a kind of independence. In addition, he or she sees a sort of social sophistication in this habit and that they appear more "attractive" when they carry a cigarette. Young people are encouraged by friends and classmates, so the process of refusing to experiment with smoking has become a complex process that requires a firm conviction of its dangers, and a solid personality to withstand the repeated temptations of friends. Freedom lies in not smoking.
There are other odd motives behind smoking, too. A teenager may believe that smoking can relieve stress or pressures, and some teenage girls might believe smoking can help lose weight (this weight loss myth is not true).
In the end, smoking is one of the leading causes of deadly and dangerous diseases that can be prevented, and it causes the death of about six million people annually. Therefore, smokers must be encouraged to quit this bad habit and spread awareness campaigns that alert people about the harms of smoking and its destructive impact on the entire community. It is also imperative for parents to keep the danger away from their children so that they do not imitate it in the future.
Smoking is still a big problem among teens, and we need to do everything we can to educate parents and children about its dangers.