A new trend happening in our region these days is childhood smoking! Wherever you go, you bump into teenagers and young adults that smoke. When you start a new generation with a box of cigarettes, the results will be devastating and that leads to a very unhealthy new generation!
Causes of youth smoking. Most of young people start smoking because they: 1) come from low social class, 2) have low academic achievements, 3)suffer from stress, anxiety or depression, 4)believe that they can improve their social image by doing something perceived cool in TV ads, 5) low self-esteem, 6) isolation, 7) wrong perceptions that smoking might help weight loss.
Keep in mind, that parents who smoke lead to smoking teens!
How to Help your Smoking Teen
There are several ways to help or prevent a smoking teen:
1- Do not resort to adultism! Teenage is a very rebellious stage. Parents sometimes resort to the method of “I said so!” This is the worst way to talk to your kids. Do not forbid them to smoke; instead, present facts to them. Show them articles and videos that explain about the terrible effect of smoking on health.
2- If you smoke, you need to stop this bad habit; otherwise, you will never be able to control your smoking kid.
3- Sign up your children from a very young age in social groups (religious, sports, book clubs, painting, dancing…)
4- Parents Support: If you see a child smoking, keep in mind that his parents most probably don’t know that he smokes. It is very essential to tell his parents. Wouldn’t want people to tell you if your child was smoking?
5- Schools and Universities should have a no-smoking on campus policy.
6- Schools and communities should start health education (not biology) regarding high risk behaviors among youth since early age to shape kids minds into having the capacity of identifying what is risky and what is safe!
7- Supermarkets should stop selling cigarettes to young people & NO parents should not send their kids to buy them cigarettes!
8- Make sure you know who are your child’s friends and their parents. Some families are built on a lot of chaos starting with neglecting parents leading to kids enlisted in risky behaviors.
9- Schools (teachers, principles…) should know that, most Lebanese schools, have terrible milieu in the restrooms where smoking and weed are passed on. Fire alarms should be placed in every bathroom. Enough surveillance should exist during recess where all children are constrained in one single space.
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