Today, you will find a lot of teenagers and kids getting addicted to tobacco. Why and how do youngsters become victims of tobacco use? How can you protect them from this habit? To find answers to these questions, continue reading this blog. Here, you will also find the health risks of tobacco. In addition, you will learn the ways to talk to our new generation about the prevention of tobacco use. Without further ado, let’s begin right away!
Forms of Tobacco Consumed by Today’s Youth
Apart from cigarettes, today’s youngsters consume different types of tobacco products. Some of them are cigarillos, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, kreteks or clove cigarettes, and snuff. The use of e-cigarettes is rapidly increasing. And, all these types of tobacco are harmful and cause various health risks. Many of these are flavored and very addictive.
How Do People Start Using Tobacco?
In a number of cases, kids/teens start smoking because of peer pressure. Friends of the same age group easily force a normal kid to try smoking. Many kids yield in because of this pressure. They very much want to act like their peers and follow the “brave acts” done by others. At times, they are simply unable to say “No” because they know that they will be mocked or bullied.
A large percentage of smokers or tobacco users begin the habit by following hero worship. When their favorite movie or television stars smoke a cigarette in style onscreen, youngsters fall for the act. So, they think that they must appear more “grown-up” by imitating them. Advertisements and banners of tobacco companies also lure today’s youth into smoking or vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling/exhaling vapors that contain nicotine, which is the chief component of tobacco.
Compared to older adults, youth are more vulnerable to tobacco abuse. Once they take the first puff of a cigarette, the cravings for nicotine start within three to four months. However, the chances of young people starting to use tobacco are less if they haven’t begun the habit by 26 years of age.
Educating Kids/Teens About the Ill Effects of Tobacco
If a family member smokes at home, children will tend to follow the same. If you have the habit of smoking, the best thing you can do for your family is to quit the habit. Only then can you and your family members become role models for the kids/teens at home. If you find them lighting up a cigarette for someone else, make them stop the habit. These simple acts can go a long way in protecting kids and teens from tobacco use.
How to Use Parental Guidance to Protect the Youth?
Starting conversations regarding tobacco use when children are very young will surely help. Allow them to open up and talk freely about the subject. If they have any doubts or queries about smoking or its harmful effects, try to educate them. If your child is under peer pressure, encourage them to talk about it. Try to put yourself in their shoes and explain to them your point of view as well. Last but not least, speak to your children about the joys and advantages of a smoke-free environment.
There are numerous health risks of tobacco, such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc. So, it is vital that families educate their children about the harmful effects of tobacco intake and the prevention of tobacco use.