Research shows that a large majority of kids have smoked cigarettes by their thirteenth birthday. This addictive habit, in turn, has been proven to cause kids to graduate to smoking marijuana or taking illegal drugs. As a result, Indiana parents of teens are advised by social workers and educators in the state to keep the lines of communication open with their children and tell them why it’s not good to smoke. This message cannot be overemphasized as research also indicates that anyone who begins the habit at a young age will also have a harder time quitting as well. Therefore, help for teenagers who are troubled or have behavioral issues also includes a primer about the dangers of smoking tobacco products.
Any parent who needs help with teenagers who smoke then appreciates the fact that they can obtain information from state agencies and programs online about the hazards of smoking. Some of the material discussed underscores the following points with respect to the consequences associated with the habit.
- People who don’t smoke live, on average, seven years longer than smokers.
- Smoking is a dirty, messy habit. It produces ashes and causes one’s clothing and hair to smell.
- When you smoke, you don’t have as much energy as you’ll find it harder to breathe.
- Smokers are more susceptible to sickness, such as pneumonia, the flu, or colds.
- Smoking irreparably damages blood vessels.
- Smokers are more than half as likely as non-smokers to get a heart attack or stroke.
- The risk for lung cancer is far greater in people who smoke.
In teen counseling centers in Indiana, therapists suggest that parents who smoke refrain from smoking around their kids as it sends somewhat of a mixed message. Instead, they should try to quit smoking themselves and, in the meantime, smoke outside or out of their child’s presence. They should emphasize the fact that smoking is not something you can quit at any time, but an addiction that is hard to manage and easily quit.
Indiana counselors also stress that teenagers help themselves by making a better effort communicate with their parents and respect their rules. Peer pressure can influence a child’s life at school as well as in the family. Therefore, it’s important that both teen and parent understand this kind of stress and learn to deal with it through channels of open, thoughtful communication. If you are a parent of a teen who smokes or abuses a substance, such as marijuana, talk to him about the dangers of smoking and using illegal substances. Keep an open mind and stay calm. Above all, seek counseling through resources within the Hoosier state.