Smoking is an adaptive behavior which in most cases acquired when an individual is aware of the effects the associated with the habit. A large number of smokers know both the long and short term effects of this habit which include respiratory diseases and cancer. Shockingly, smoking is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, emphysema, and also premature ageing. Though these defects are unlikeable to the smokers still they continue with the habit. However, campaigns against smoking have largely been carried out so as to create awareness to the public on the effects of smoking and nowadays the number of teen smokers has been in the decline.
However, the smoking habit is easily acquired by an individual. This is because there are various reasons attract an individual into attempting to smoke. Some individuals take the habit as a show off thus they start smoking since they believe in an ideology which says that it looks cool to smoke in public. Others start through copying members of their families or friends who are smokers. The other reason is age pride. This is whereby an individual starts smoking after attaining the age of eighteen years which is taken as maturity age by many teenagers. More also, peer influence is a major cause of smoking. Smokers narrate their smoking experiences to their peers thus persuading them to start the habit. Contrary, most individuals who acquired the habit in their teen ages did not expect to become addicted in their adulthood. Therefore, that is easier to start smoking but hard to stop the habit (Proctor,p.34).
Also, there are also some other reasons that make teenagers to get into the smoking habit. One of the reasons is the stigma in either the family or social environment. Those teens who have problems with their family members find it good to use tobacco and other substances so as to gain comfort. In schools, the students who perform poorly in academic work and feel isolated by their colleagues thus they become easy prey to tobacco and other substances abuse (Barber,p.33).
Another reason which renders the teenagers into the habit is lack of hope. Lack of hope in teenagers is mainly in terms of education whereby an individual may fail to qualify to further education or poor background. Teenagers who are from poor family backgrounds, such as in slum, areas are more likely to lead a hopeless life which make them vulnerable to tobacco and substances abuse. Hopeless teenagers do not perform well in any events thus they live in social stigma and for them to get comfort they get into tobacco and other substance abuses (Michell,p.45).
Therefore, school environment can be said to be the most conducive for some teenage tobacco users. This main reason for this is because school compounds or learning institutions are the main social places for teenagers where they interact hence influencing each other. In addition, the peers who have good attitudes toward the use of tobacco persuade others who are not aware of the tobacco therefore training others on the use of tobacco. Thus institutions of learning act as breeding habitats for smoking habit.
However, antismoking campaigns have been spending large amount of money in crating awareness on the effects of smoking in our livelihoods. In contrast, the American Lung Association, a health research institution, has found that in nearly every single minute, four thousand seven hundred teenagers take their first puff off a tobacco. More also, of those teens, there is a likelihood of about two thousand going on to be chain smokers in their adulthood. This is in accordance to a fact that the rate of teen smoking has steadily been decreasing in respect to previous years.
However, there are differences of subjective feelings between smokers and non-smokers. Those differences are in most cases indicated by behavioral changes which are clearer in teenagers than in adults. Teenage smokers are uncompromising and feel like they are more mature. The same feelings render them into involving themselves into acts of crime and other substance abuses. In addition, most of convicted teenage criminals are found to be smokers and substances abusers (Gottsegen,p45).
In addition, tobacco contains chemical substances which are harmful to the human brain. One of these chemicals is nicotine which affects neural mechanisms hence causing addiction to smoking. This chemical makes tobacco to be an additive substance. Once the chemical gets in the brain it acts like a stimulant, thus stimulating both the mind and body. When an individual is in such a condition, tolerance levels depend on the dose of nicotine taken. Thus nicotine can also be said to have a physiological effect. Addiction is realized when an individual requires to the chemical so as to help both the body and brain functions.
In addition, research has also proven that nicotine can be used to suppress feelings, reduce appetite for food, as stimulus after sex, and it is helpful when trying to relax from stresses and disturbing feelings. This is the main reason to why smokers rush for cigarette puffs once they get disturbed. The fact is that it is real to only those who are addicted to the substance rather not to those who are not used to it. However, this research finding acts as a puller to potential smokers especially the teenagers (Hilton,p.54).
On the other hand, the number of teen smokers has been declining for various reasons. It results from either economical or social reasons. The social reasons include awareness on the effects of smoking in schools and public advertisements through media. Economical reason is as a result of increase in the prices of tobacco which is caused by either the increase in cigarette production or high tax levied on the cigarettes.
In the recent years, social campaigns have been in the run in sensitizing teenagers on the effects of smoking and methods which can be used by an addicted individual so as to stop the habit. These campaigns also informed the public on the incurable diseases caused by smoking such as cancer which can only be prevented once an individual stops the habit. This made many teenagers to stop the habit early enough before addiction. Additionally, teens are advised to join pro-social groups or clubs which promote healthy living styles. This is done so as to reduce the likelihood of that the teen to restart the habit (Urberg,p.245).
Schools have also not been left behind in the antismoking programs. Teenage smokers are provided with rehabilitation resources which help in making them stop the habit. In addition, many schools have guidance and counseling personnel who deal with smoking and other substance abuse issues. Subjects related to smoking and their effects in the livelihood have also been introduced. However, school environments are most conducive for the antismoking campaigns since many teenagers get informed and they continue to inform amongst themselves.
At the family level, parents are required by antismoking campaigners to talk to their teenagers on the smoking habits among other substances abuse. This is considered to be the most successive campaigns if only parents cooperated with the move. As a result many teenagers have stopped smoking form talking with their parents and family members. More also, this move have rendered many adults to stop smoking in a trial to set a good pace to their children (Johannes,p.12).
Furthermore, antismoking campaigns have campaigned against advertisement of tobacco products in the social media such as dailies, televisions or the internet. Government and academic bodies have helped in the implementation of efforts to fight the use of tobacco by imposing ban on the advertisements. However, with little awareness of the tobacco products on the ground, the move has greatly helped in reducing the number of smokers hence it is considered one area of success by antismoking campaigns.
In addition, government has contributed towards the decline in the number of smokers by imposing economic measures on the tobacco products. However, this has been implemented by increasing tax rate levied on the products. Therefore, prices of tobacco products have increased in the market. This has resulted to some individuals stopping the habit due to economic disadvantages. Most teenagers are dependent on their parents hence it is hard for them to afford the products (Francis,p.32).
Another reason which has contributed to the decline is the loosing of lawsuit by tobacco companies. Instead they were made to pay for the anti-smoking advertisements. The added cost has to be recovered by the high prices of tobacco products. This has made young people not to afford the products. On the other hand, anti-smoking advertisements create awareness to the public on the truth of the effects of nicotine which has led to the pull out of many teenagers from the smoking habit (West,p.23).
Rehabilitated teenage smokers have also been campaigning through the media on how unhealthy and un-cool smoking is. This is influential and helpful in changing the minds of the decided potential teenage smokers. With the understanding of teenagers being influential, the move to use other teenagers to campaign against the habit has highly boosted the successful results of anti-smoking campaigns.
To control smoking habit, government needs to put measures which could discourage smoking in the public places as well as increasing the tax rate levied on the cigarettes. Another measure would be to discourage tobacco farming which would reduce the quantity of tobacco products in the market. These measures would be of benefit to the livelihood because diseases caused by smoking would decline the same to the number of smokers.
However, it is logical noting that full success of anti-smoking campaigns cannot easily be achieved. This is because teenagers have shallow knowledge about live ahead of that and trying smoking is part of making fun in their lives. This mentality puts the knowledge of health risks associated with the habit in their minds. Therefore it would be wise to put effort in reducing the product availability as anti-smoking campaigns continues (Burns,p.54).
In conclusion, teenagers are the most influential individuals. Therefore, it is easy to control smoking habit among the teenagers by sensitizing them on the harmful effects of the habit to their lives. Family level can be the best rehabilitation and containment environment to smokers. This is because members of the family have a good understanding on the behaviors of a person hence they identify behavioral change in a person earlier than teachers and other members of the society.
More also, government and other bodies need to identify hopeless teenagers and work on improving their lives by reducing their stigma. This can be done by providing them with education facilities and rehabilitation early enough before they get into the smoking habit. In addition, smoking is a contentious issue which would require to be taken by every individual by advising and reporting teenagers who are seen practicing the habit.