How to avoid smoking among the youngest, in 6 keys

Smoking habits have become one of the biggest public health problems, Become a serious problem within society and despite the knowledge that one feels of its harmful effects.

However, to this day there are still a large number of smokers. Of all this population, adolescents have become one of the main sources of smoking, existing according to the World Health Organization (WHO) around 150 million teenage smokers.

But there are several ways to prevent smoking among young people, starting with knowing the causes that lead them to develop this habit so harmful to health.

    Main causes of smoking among young people

    There are various reasons why the younger population is interested in smoking. However, Knowing how to recognize them is essential to be able to intervene in time and prevent smoking among young people and adolescents..

    1. Social acceptance

    Social acceptance is the main and most well-known cause that a teenager begins to take an interest in tobacco. and therefore want to try it. Starting to smoke has become a rite of integration through which young people feel included in a group.

    Likewise, curiosity, the urge to experiment, or simply believing that it is fashionable or that it can make it popular, are also great incentives for young people to start smoking.

    2. Smoking as a challenge to the rules

    The age of prepuberty and adolescence is characterized by a strong sense of rebellion, Of provocation and a great impulse of transgression. For all of these young people, smoking is one of the fastest and most effective ways to cope with the rules and break the rules imposed by their parents, society or school.

    3. Smoking to relieve stress

    Influenced by beliefs that exist around smoking and tobacco itself, many teens who decide to start smoking do so with the intention of alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety, When faced with high pressure situations such as exam hours or experiencing events with a high emotional load.

    However, what they do not know is the reaction that smoking will have on their body as they will feel relaxed for a few moments, but then the feeling of stress will be greater, so they will have to smoke more and more.

    4. Influence of parents

    The body of research on smoking habits agrees that adolescents whose parents are smokers are at higher risk of becoming smokers. and nicotinics than other young people.

    Therefore, adults who smoke and have children should be aware of the influence that this habit has on their children, both directly through the consequences of tobacco smoke, and in the medium and long term causing addiction in them. their children.

    5. Media and advertising

    Although it is currently prohibited to conduct any type of campaign to promote smoking among adolescents, scenes, whether in movies, on television or in print media, in which a person or character lights a cigarette are more than usual.

    Just as parental influence on smoking has been shown, there is strong evidence that advertisements and the media have the ability to increase adolescent desire to smoke.

    6. Lack of information

    Although more and more campaigns are being carried out to prevent smoking, both among adolescents and adults, the myths and false beliefs that promote smoking still persist in the collective mind.

    All these mistaken but very popular beliefs mean that the negative consequences of tobacco are buried by the positive image that we still have of it.

    Tips for preventing smoking among young people

    One of the most important factors in the prevention of smoking is that of preventing adolescents from starting to smoke, thus trying to avoid the first use. The reason is that adolescents start smoking for the above reasons without knowing the consequences and without being aware of the level of addiction it can cause.

    Here are some tips or ways to prevent young people from starting to smoke.

    1. Provide information

    As in any other type of awareness campaign, educating young people about smoking is the first and perhaps most important step.

    It is obvious that the entire population, regardless of their age, is aware that smoking has a large number of negative consequences on the health of a person. However, it seems that mere knowledge is not enough.

    With this in mind, it is very important to facilitate and provide the younger population with the real effects and sequelae of smoking, including the diseases it can cause, the effects on physical and mental impairments and related death rates. to smoking. causes.

    2. Psychoeducation

    Another action to be taken is that of provide information on the psychological effects of cigarette smoking.

    Since the harmful effects of tobacco usually appear in the medium to long term, a young person may begin to smoke with the illusion of quitting before these effects appear. Therefore, it is essential to account for the addictive potential of this situation, the functioning of the mechanisms of addiction and the short-term consequences of starting or smoking regularly.

    3. Lead by example

    As mentioned above, one of the reasons why young people start smoking is by pure imitation, good by parents, some relatives, friends, etc.

    Unfortunately, in many cases it is not possible to lead by example, because in a large number of occasions the adults around the young person are already regular smokers.

    In any case, it is vitally important that those who are responsible for intervening or interacting with young people are able to lead by example and not smoke in front of the young.

    4. Encourage reasoning

    This measure aims to allow young people to develop critical reasoning about tobacco., Then let them provide them with objective information, make their own judgments and evaluations about smoking.

    5. Learn to say “no”

    One of the most common situations a teenager encounters is when a friend or acquaintance offers them a cigarette. Lack of emotional education and assertiveness skills, as well as the fear of rejection, in most cases, the adolescent ends up accepting..

    Therefore, providing skills that enable them to say ‘no’ and quit smoking without feeling bad about it is essential in preventing young people from starting to smoke.

    6. Promote physical activity

    Promote healthy lifestylesThis implies that the adolescent adopts healthy lifestyles and exercises some kind of physical exercise is a very useful tool in preventing the onset of smoking among adolescents.

    A young person motivated by sport and physical health is less likely to engage in unhealthy practices, which also include smoking.

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