I think that most of us started young......I was 12 and it was to be cool. I don't think it became an addiction until I was old enough to have stress and anxiety, and in a nutshell, that was what got me addicted, long before the nicotine.
The first time wasn't really memorable......I got dizzy and it made me a bit queazy, but after a dozen times, well then it wasn't bad any longer.
You have to remember one thing and that is, when you are young, you believe that you are invincible so all that you hear about smoking is meant for everyone else but you. Besides, it doesn't happen to anyone below the age of 40 and everyone knows that young kids don't live that long, that is, until they do (my daughter currently has this opinion).
It's crazy how we are able to "not think things through" when we are young. Consequences are not given to people under 21 : )
In order to fully understand, you have to have that mindset and we are beyond that now.
After 38 years of smoking, and quit for 9 months, I can finally say that I don't know why I ever started.....bad choices, but no one could have told me different.
If you want to help (as much as they will let you) then ask this person to log onto whyquit.com and read the "motivation" articles. This is a start and maybe it will open his eyes to the possibility that young people DO die from smoking and young people DO get various types of cancer, and that it is much easier for young people to quit and he should do it now, while he has a fighting chance.
Good luck and it's nice to see that you think enough of this person to ask. Perhaps you will be able to appeal to him on a peer level : )
He is aware of the dangers, relative has cancer and smokes. He is rebellious and maybe it to fit in to that image. Kids these days feel like they need to have an image. Why they choose the wrong ones I am not sure. I remember being a kid and choosing an image. Sure it was fun, but I knew right from wrong. Today kids know smoking kills. But it could be that not all kids have that same mind set as you described. No one in the family understands why he started smoking. The family has given up trying to make him stop. They almost allow it with the attitude don't let us see it. The problem is if they push to had to make him stop he might run away or something. So they back off to a safe distance. But he does his best to hide the smoking from them so I don't think it is to rebel. I think he is doing it for him. Hooked now line and sinker. He's at that point where he needs to have it. Sad. A new customer for the tobacco industry for 40 more years. Amazing it is legal being so harmful?
I don't see much of a difference between the teens of old vs. now. I know that I always felt invincible and it wasn't until I was about 22, "son of Sam" killed in my neighborhood and I suddenly became aware of my vulnerability!
Lets hope that he gets the message sooner, rather then later. Gently remind him from time to time about how much people care about him and encourage him to do his own research.
As for the tobacco industry......terrible, but I have a problem with the alcohol industry too! Shame on both!
The average age of first-time use in the U.S. is 12 years of age. While the number of smokers is decreasing, the number of younger kids is not decreasing enough. Each year in the U.S., approximately 440,000 people die b/c of tobacco related illness; the number one preventable cause of death. There is great debate on why people start smoking, and I don't think there is any one universal reason.
There are several things that occur when someone smokes for the first time - physiologically. The smoke and chemicals enter the mouth then go through the trachea and into the lungs. The chemicals are absorbed through the mucosal linings and in the alveoli in the lungs along the way. There are some reports that indicate that the chemicals can be absorbed and get to the brain within 8 seconds.
Most will tell you that the first time they tried smoking that it was disgusting; I only tried smoking once and it was TERRIBLE (nasty cough, and horrible aftertaste for days). Why they continue after the first time negative reactions is of great debate. But part of the belief is that kids don't want to get made fun of so they play it off (the coughing and feeling of being sick). There is the dizziness, and nausea, but the big problem is when the nicotine gets in the system.
At 16, this teen is dealing with a lot of issues. It’s very unfortunate that they have started smoking, but there is still hope. Work with them and explain the negative effects. Do some research on how much tar gets in the lungs and show what happens to the lungs. Discuss the physical effects smoking has on the body.
One of the successes I’ve had is when I show the kids real lungs, both healthy and diseased. I also show how much tar gets in the lungs in a year of smoking. Kids are concerned about how others view them, so try to focus on the physical effects.