Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teenage Smoking - Help them Quit

New Year brings a new law in Florida. A new "fire-safe" cigarette law requires cigarettes to burn out when not in active use. Fires started by cigarettes kill more than 700 people and injure another 3,000 each year.

If you are a parent of a teenager, or younger child, that you suspect is smoking, you may want them to be aware of the new Florida law. This may be a way to open the lines of communication with your kids about smoking and the dangers of it. If you are a parent or an adult that smokes, of course, the new law applies to everyone.

Why do teens smoke? There are a variety of reasons:

  • Fit in with a peer group
  • Peer pressure
  • It's cool
  • You like it
  • Everyone is doing it
  • It calms you down
  • Etc.....
No matter what the reason is, the fact still remains it is bad for you. Once you have started, quitting becomes very difficult. The good news is, you can quit. Smoking, like many addictions, are not easy to give up.

Quitting Smoking:

Quitting smoking is possible. Every year, 2 million Americans stop smoking. But it's not easy. It requires motivation from the smoker and may take several attempts before success is permanent. The average number of attempts is believed to be three.

There is no right way to quit. Many smokers report they can quit abruptly--better known as "cold turkey." Others report quitting gradually by decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Those who are interested in quitting can talk with their health care provider or, in the United States, call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or the American Lung Association at (800) 586-4872 for useful information on how to quit.

If you are thinking about smoking, the only way to avoid getting hooked on cigarettes is never to start in the first place. And with the price of cigarettes as high as they are today, you will have all that extra money if you stop smoking. Yes, you can do it!


Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Also on Examiner.