Movies and Television Shows
* The media plays a big role in influencing the minds of young children and teenagers. Many movies and television shows feature popular characters smoking on the screen. Youngsters who see this may begin to see smoking in a positive light. They may become more open to the idea of smoking and try to smoke the same brands as their favorite actors on screen. Advertising
* According to the American Lung Association, tobacco companies target teenagers and children through advertising. Smoking kills thousands of people each year and many others quit. To make up for this loss of consumers, the tobacco companies choose youngsters because they are easy targets. They use several advertising tactics to lure children. Advertisements project smoking as a cool, grown-up thing to do. Experimentation
* Many teenagers start smoking just because they want to try it out. Because of the influence of advertisements, they are curious to try out this activity that appears so independent and grown-up. Some teenagers also start smoking because they want to appear rebellious. Teenagers can quickly become addicted to nicotine without even realizing it. Though the intention was only to try a cigarette, many teenagers go on to become regular smokers. Parental Influence
* Many teenagers who smoke have parents who are smokers. Parents are the biggest influence in the lives of their children. By smoking in the presence of their children, many parents send the message that smoking is acceptable and not detrimental to health. It is important for parents to communicate with their children from a young age and explain to them the ill effects of smoking. Parents must also set a good example by quitting smoking or avoiding it in the presence of their children. Peer Pressure
* The influence of friends and popular kids is another important reason why teenagers start smoking. According to the Canadian Lung Association, more than 70 percent of teenagers say that peer pressure and having friends who smoke are the main reason they started smoking. Teenagers may accept a cigarette because they do not want to turn down their friends or because they want to do what all their friends are doing. Parents must know if their children have friends who smoke. They must also explain the dangers of second-hand smoking and ways to refuse a cigarette from a friend.
As teenage girls struggle with self-identity, the fear of gaining weight or the desire to lose weight can lead some to smoke, according to the University of Florida. Models in advertisements may be portrayed as thin and glamorous. Teenagers may find that cigarettes satisfy cravings for food, according to Teen Smoking. However, smoking has significantly more harmful effects than food choices. Parents emphasizing healthy eating may help to overcome some of these misconceptions and teach teens habits that can stay with them. Effects of smoking –
* Life is full of stress, on the personal and professional fronts, and smoking is a coping mechanism. Every day brings its own share of problems, and lighting up is a way to deal with the stress. For smokers, emotional needs take precedence over the physical damage smoking does to the body. Smokers are well aware of smoking's harmful effects but can't stop because they have no other defense mechanism against stress. Smoking Is Viewed As a Reward
* For reward-hungry people, smoking is a reward that can be enjoyed as often as the smoker chooses. Smokers often promise themselves a cigarette as soon as a particular task is completed. A smoker's first and last cigarettes of the day are the best rewards: The first one symbolizes an anticipated recompense, and the last one symbolizes the end of a hard day's work. Smoking, to some people, is the reward introduced into everyday living to compensate for having to go to work, get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, put up with...