The problem of teens smoking is on the current global agenda because of the constantly increased rates of smoking habits among children under the age of 18. The problem of tobacco use among children is largely predetermined by social, emotional, and psychological environment provoking and shaping behavior, perception, and attitudes of teenagers to smoking. Nowadays, both educators and parents should pay closer attention to the problem of smoking because it is largely predetermined by the setting within which children are brought up (Franks et al. n. p.). While thinking over the problem of teen smoking, the focus should be made on the causes and outcomes of smoking so as to define the corresponding measures that the governmental authorities should take to prevent the increased ration of smoking children and adolescents. In this paper, we claim that teenagers should not smoke cigarettes because it is harmful to their both physical and mental health
Despite the legalization of adolescent smoking prohibition, the rates of smoking among children do not lead to significant recession. At this point, teenagers should think over their choices in life themselves to be aware of the consequences of smoking. Therefore, the established taboos are not reasonable because they do not increase the awareness of children concerning the threats of smoking to physical and mental health. In addition, teens smoking cannot be harmful and cause significant health threats in case it is occasional.
Rebuttal to the Opposed Statement
Both regular and occasional smoking can lead to serious health problems. In particular, even if person does not smoke regularly, he/she can interact with regular smokers and become a passive smoker. One way or another teens smoking causes significant health problems and aggravates students’ academic performance.
Despite the possibility of providing teenagers with freedom of choice, teenagers should not smoke cigarettes because of the increased health risk that can accompany their lives in future, including lung cancer and heart disease. Addiction to nicotine is another negative outcome of regular smoking. In addition, tobacco use among children and adolescent should be prevented because most reasons for smoking arise from the social and cultural environment they are engaged in, but not from the personal choices made. For instance, teenage smoking can lead to decline in physical activities because of physical impairments. It also influences mental performance and, as a result, it can influence academic grades of smoking students.
Impact of Smoking on Teens’ Health
Threat of Lung Cancer and Heart Disease
It has been proved that cigarette smoking has both short-term and long-term health consequences. The former involves respiratory problems and addiction to nicotine. The latter is connected with the lung problems, including reduced function of lungs, as well as the risk of lung cancer. In particular, children who smoke are more likely to have to lung cancer. Teenagers that continue smoking in their adulthood, have much higher probability of heart disease. The early signs of heart problems can be revealed during adolescence sine their heart rates are much faster, as compared to the heartbeat of non-smoking young adults (The World Health Organization n. p). This is because smoking adolescents suffer from breath shortness more frequently than those who do not smoke. Thus, excessive and regular use of tobacco can lead to the rapid development of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, which are serious problems in the United States staying apart from the smoking problem (Franks et al. n. p.).
Relations between Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking teenagers have worse physical endurance. They are more likely to consume alcohol as compared to children who do not smoke. What is more threatening is that they use marijuana eight times and cocaine twenty-two times more frequently, in comparison to children who are smoking-free (The World Health Organization n. p.). Therefore, there is a strong relation of smoking addiction to substance abuse. Heavy and regular smoking can also lead to chronic diseases, such as reduced lung functionality and heart failure. Moreover, adults starting to smoke at an early age continue smoking and experience much greater dependency on tobacco use. The above-enumerated diseases and health risk are considered the main cause of death among the adolescents. The life expectancy and mortality rates closely relate to smoking.
Addiction to nicotine
Addiction to nicotine is another negative consequence of tobacco use during adolescence. Specifically, teenagers have greater dependence on nicotine and, therefore, there is a less probability to quit smoking. Hence, the age when individuals start smoking also increases the risk of nicotine addiction. Franks et al. recognize the problem of nicotine addiction because among the adolescents, which is much more theories because of the early age of tobacco use (n. p.). Nicotine addiction, therefore, causes a number of problems of psychological and behavioral nature that can also lead to problems in communicating with peers in a learning environment. Cigarette smoking, therefore, does not contribute to developing effective social skills, as well as organizing an academic process in an effective way. In addition, the addiction of adolescent to nicotine can also deprive the students from such effective qualities as goal setting, assertiveness, and other behavioral shifts that are necessary for future professional growth.
Social Consequences of Smoking on Teens’ Future
Attitude to Smokers in Society
It has been proved that regular smoking leads to aggressive behaviors among children, specifically among those who undergo the puberty period. As a result, both educators and parents face a serious problem of preventing smoking because of deep psychological and emotional grounds of emerging habits. According to the World Health Organization, “smoking is associated with a host another risky behaviors and engaging an unprotected sex” (n. p.). As a result, smoking is a sign of adolescent depressive mood, or an indicator of family problems. The study of family backgrounds also reveals that improper behavior largely depends on unhealthy environment created with a family. Children who have smoking and alcohol-addicted parents are more likely to smoke than those who have non-smoking parents. According to Butler el al, “adolescent are less likely to smoke if they receive parental disapproval of smoking and if their parents set and communicate expectations for not smoking, establish no-smoking rules in the home, male clear of consequences of attempting to smoke and engage in parental monitoring” (1). Therefore, greater control under children decisions can eliminate problems in future and provide teenagers with greater responsibilities for their health.
Poor Academic Performance
Smoking decreases attention and discourages teenagers to memorize information. Tobacco use does not contribute to high levels of academic performance among the adolescents. It is logical, therefore, that such students have difficulties in memorizing information and reproducing knowledge in an effective manner. Aside from problems with memorizing, smoking also damages children’s physical fitness in terms of both endurance and performance, even though young people train regularly in running. In addition, smoking also hurts nearly each organ in the body, as confirmed by the World Health Organization (n. p.).
Moreover, lack of awareness of the consequences of smoking for health is rarely discussed during the lessons. Failure to understand the actual risk of smoking behavior can also lead to further increased rates of adolescent smoking, which can further aggravate the problem (World Health Organization n. p.). Specifically, social and cognitive skills – the pillars of effective cooperation and professional advancement – cannot be developed in case an adolescent is addicted to nicotine. The emerging risky behaviors, therefore, discourage the instructors to deal with the students and assist those in improving their skills. Increased aggressiveness and irritation does not allow the smoking teenager to establish favorable relationships with peers.
Regarding the above-presented funding, it is purposeful to conclude that adolescents addicted to smoking will have lower probability to be accepted from such jobs where exceptional health is required (The World Health Organization n. p.). This is of particular concern to professional athletes, or sports coaches, pilots, astronauts, etc. Aggressive behaviors are revealed among smokers much more frequently than among non-smokers and, therefore, the former are not welcomed in such spheres as psychotherapy, surgery, medicine where calmness, rational thinking, and emotional stability are of paramount importance. Lack of antismoking socialization leads to serious problems in communication and, therefore, smoking teenagers are not able to establish normal relations with the surrounding people.
Butler Susan, Kegler Michelle Crozier, and Cam Escoffery. Parental Perspectives on Antismoking Discussions with Adolescents in Rural African American Households. Preventing Chronic Disease, 6.2 (2009): 1-8.
Franks, Adele, L et al. School-based Programs: Lessons Learned from CATCH, Planet Health and Not-On-Tobacco. Prevention of Chronic Diseases, 2007, Web.
The World Health Organization. Tobacco Free Initiative. 2012. Web.