zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Teen Smoking Problems

by
author image Julie Boehlke
Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.
Teen Smoking Problems
Teens who smoke face an array of health problems. Photo Credit ivanmateev/iStock/Getty Images

The Centers For Disease Control states that around 23 percent of teens smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes pose not only a health risk with both long and short term use but are highly addictive. The American Heart Association states that nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break. Teens start smoking for several reasons but are generally introduced to it through peers. Understanding some of the problems teens smokers face will allow you to help yourself or others facing this addiction each day.

Health Risks

One of the biggest reasons smoking is so frowned upon is because it can cause a myriad of health problems both short and long term. The American Cancer Society states that in the short term, smoking can interfere with proper breathing techniques and can lead to reduced lung function. It can also make respiratory illnesses worse and cause coughing and shortness of breath. It can reduce physical fitness levels which is detrimental to teens who engage in sports and other physical activities daily. Long term tobacco use can cause heart disease, chronic lung problems, vision problems and gum disease.

Addiction

Nicotine addiction is why teens keep grabbing the next cigarette. The American Heart Association states that nicotine produces changes in the brain that form its addictive qualities. When a teen takes his first puff, his body instantly responds internally. Nicotine targets the area of the brain that produces dopamine--a mood altering neurotransmitter and neurohormone that produces an emotional response including pleasure. The other half of the addiction is the withdrawal from nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, impatience, depression and restlessness can be so overwhelming, teens reluctantly give in, causing the addictive cycle to continue.

Cost and Legality

Teen Help states that each day 6,000 children under 18 begin smoking each day. While many teens smoke, it is illegal for them to purchase tobacco in most states. Many teens that get caught smoking on public property, especially school, increase their risk for getting expelled and losing their rights as a student. The cost of teen smoking may be higher than those over 18. While on average a pack of cigarettes costs around $5 a pack as of 2010, teens may pay adults extra money to obtain tobacco.

Smokeless Alternative Dangers

Many teens turn to smokeless tobacco as an alternative to cigarettes. This alternative can be more dangerous. According to Kids Health, chewing tobacco can cause a variety of troubling side effects such as gum disease and receding gums, bleeding and cracked lips and gums, an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, arrhythmias and mouth cancer. Teens face the same discipline from school districts for possession of smokeless tobacco as cigarettes.

Second Hand Smoke Problems

Teens who smoke in front of other teens not only put themselves in harm’s way, they can also harm the health of others. The Mayo Clinic states that secondhand smoke contains a large amount of chemicals that are released into the air from a cigarette such as nickel, cyanide, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. These toxins can enter someone else’s lungs and reduce her oxygen levels, irritate her lungs and eventually lead to heart disease, lung disease and cancer. Passing on secondhand smoke to an infant can cause low birth weight, infection and sudden infant death syndrome.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.