Finding out Why Teens Smoke
Researchers have found that when people start to smoke when they are teenagers, they are more likely to continue smoking into their adult lives. Tobacco is very addicting both physically and psychologically and once the habit is formed it is very difficult to break. That is why the longer the habit has been in existence, the more likely the habit is to continue throughout the person’s life. There are plenty of websites that parents can use that have smoking facts for teens. These sites often show parents how to talk about the key issues of smoking that their teens are most likely to care about and can be more likely to influence their decision not to smoke.
Rebellion and Forbidden Fruit
One reason why teens smoke for the first time is because smoking is something that is forbidden yet seems relatively harmless to try. Unlike other drugs that are on the market, including alcohol, smoking does not have the chance of losing control and getting into a car wreck or other dangerous situation. Instead, it has the allure of making the teen feel older and wiser with a cigarette in his hand, and thus provides a reason for the teen to smoke. Another reason why teens smoke, or will try it for the first time is because it will give them attention from their peers as well as from the adults in their life. Even if the attention is bad attention, teens crave it, and smoking often provides that outlet.
One reason why teens continue to smoke is that nicotine is very addicting. Often, teens that start to smoke when they are between thirteen to seventeen years of age will continue to do so into their adult years. Nicotine is addicting because it acts as a stimulus to the body, providing a nice feeling of wellness to the individual. Since it affects not only the body, but also the mind, the drug is addicting to both as well, and thus makes it difficult to stop. With teenagers and their underdeveloped emotional capacities, smoking is even more difficult to stop once they have started, even with a strong impetus from parents or other outside role models.
One reason why it is dangerous for teens to start smoking besides the addictive factor is that nicotine is considered a gateway drug. This means that those teens that start smoking will often start to use other forms of drugs as well over time. Since nicotine requires more and more of it to get the same feeling, they will often turn to other drugs to find that same high.