Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peer Pressure Causes Increase in Teen Smoking

Peer pressure has been around for years, but what is so sad is that it's driving teens to continue to make poor decisions that not only impact their life but their health too.

We were shocked to find out that there is still a growing interest in teen smoking, and all because it's deemed as cool. Although cigarette smoking had in fact declined, it's back on the rise and at huge numbers we just didn't expect to see.

Not only is smoking now a way to look cool in college, but this is now affecting teens in high school. Over the last several years, the addiction to smoking has increased dramatically for these high school and college students because it seems teens and young adults are still struggling with finding a place in which they can connect and feel as though they belong.

It's sad that they turn to smoking as a result of this inner conflict and that is is being turned to as a social outlet. While this is just one of many ways in which peer pressure affects teens, it's one that can lead to poor health down the road, meaning cancers of many kinds.

A study done in the UK by the Cancer Research Center delivered statistics that state that 207,000 teens from ages 11 to 15 start smoking each year. Not only are the numbers of these teens staggering, but the age bracket is such as shocking.

What can we do to change this?

If you are reading this and you are a parent, you need to talk to your kids about smoking. Furthermore, if your children are newborn or young toddlers, be sure that you start working on how to encourage them and build up their self-esteem so that they understand there is no need to turn to smoking or other bad habits.

There is so much talk of addiction to drugs, hazing incidents, and more that teens are doing to cope with peer pressure and the pressures of life, college, and even relationships.

Consider kids that are being bullied for their personal beliefs, or better yet, how about their sexual orientation? Bad grades, being a nerd, and not dressing well are only the tip of the iceberg for your children. When is the last time you took the time to sit down and talk with your children about what is happening at school and what is going on in their life?

Don't wait too long, peer pressure is daily challenge for teens and they need your love and support. These teens need to be filled with self-esteem and they need to know that you care and that you love them enough to listen and help them no matter what.

Reflect back on what your days in school were like, and if you were ever picked on it hurt right? Now is the time to be courageous, and start taking action against "peer pressure"!

PS-Do you have a story of amazing courage, inspiration, or motivation to tell? If so, we would love to hear from you. You can connect with us on Facebook, and while you are here, be sure to check out our hats, decals, and apparel to help show your courage!



2 comments:

  1. It is a shame that we still have kids (and adults) smoking given the awareness of how harmful it is. My son started smoking when he was 17... we had discussed the health issues of smoking with him for years, but in the end, he felt the need to follow his friend (and possibly rebel). I assume that some day he will realize how bad it is and make a choice to stop, but it is much harder to stop than it is to not start.

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