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Why Kids Start Smoking The overwhelming majority of adult smokers began smoking before age 18, and many were addicted before they even finished high school. Their parents are smokers. Peer pressure—their friends encourage them to try cigarettes and to keep smoking. They see smoking as a way of rebelling and showing independence. They think that everyone else is smoking and that they should, too.
The tobacco industry has used clever marketing tactics to specifically target teenagers. The price is right—in places where low tobacco taxes have kept the price down, it is easier for kids to afford cigarettes.
Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body: 1,2 See figure above. Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors. If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen. Section Navigation. On This Page. This makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up.
What is Secondhand Smoke?
Clots can also form. Take a walk. Not only will it help you burn calories and keep the weight off , but it will also help alleviate feelings of stress and frustration that accompany smoking withdrawal. Snack on guilt-free foods. Good choices include sugar-free gum, carrot and celery sticks, or sliced bell peppers or jicama. There are many different methods that have successfully helped people to kick the smoking habit. Smoking cessation medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
They are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether an anti-smoking medication is right for you. The U.
Nicotine replacement therapy. It relieves some of the withdrawal symptoms by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into your body without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps you focus on breaking your psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills. Non-nicotine medication. These medications help you stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine. Medications such as bupropion Zyban and varenicline Chantix, Champix are intended for short-term use only.
Since it eliminates the tar and toxic gases found in cigarette smoke, smoking e-cigarettes vaping is almost certainly less dangerous than smoking conventional cigarettes. While different studies have conflicting results, e-cigarettes may also be helpful in kicking the habit. However, there are some downsides to vaping:. These include:. Hypnosis — This is a popular option that has produced good results for many smokers struggling to quit.
Forget anything you may have seen from stage hypnotists, hypnosis works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to suggestions that strengthen your resolve to stop smoking and increase your negative feelings toward cigarettes. Acupuncture — One of the oldest known medical techniques, acupuncture is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins natural pain relievers that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms. Behavioral Therapy — Nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviors or rituals involved in smoking.
Behavior therapy focuses on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits. Motivational Therapies — Self-help books and websites can provide a number of ways to motivate yourself to give up smoking. One well known example is calculating the monetary savings. Some people have been able to find the motivation to quit just by calculating how much money they will save. It may be enough to pay for a summer vacation.
Smokeless tobacco, otherwise known as spit or chewing tobacco, is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. It contains the same addictive chemical, nicotine, contained in cigarettes. In fact, the amount of nicotine absorbed from smokeless tobacco can be 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette. Instead, turn the relapse into a rebound by learning from your mistake.
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Analyze what happened right before you started smoking again, identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into, and make a new stop-smoking plan that eliminates them. You can choose to learn from the slip and let it motivate you to try harder or you can use it as an excuse to go back to your smoking habit. But the choice is yours. Throw out the rest of the pack. Look back at your quit log and feel good about the time you went without smoking.
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Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke again? Decide how you will cope with that issue the next time it comes up. Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Call your doctor if you start smoking again.
But if they do make the decision to stop smoking, you can offer support and encouragement and try to ease the stress of quitting. Investigate the different treatment options available and talk them through with the smoker; just be careful never to preach or judge.
How to Quit Smoking
You can also help a smoker overcome cravings by pursuing other activities with them, and by keeping smoking substitutes, such as gum, on hand. Congratulate them on the time they went without cigarettes and encourage them to try again. Your support can make all the difference in helping your loved one eventually kick the habit for good. Most smokers try their first cigarette around the age of 11, and many are addicted by the time they turn While the decision to give up has to come from the teen smoker him- or herself, there are still plenty of ways for you to help.
American Lung Association. American Cancer Society. American Heart Association. E-cigarettes: Good news, bad news — Potential harms and benefits of e-cigarettes. Harvard Health Publications. In the U.
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Canada : Visit Health Canada or call the helpline at Worldwide : Nicotine Anonymous offers a Step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous with meetings in many different countries.