Often, the best-intentioned people make the most mistakes in their attempts to “help” smokers quit. But, in the case of teenagers, the advantage is that the vice is not in the addiction stage. That is precisely why you must intervene promptly, but gently, and help your child to remove the reason why he chose to smoke.
Most smokers started in adolescence
Studies show that 80% of adult smokers started this habit in adolescence. Moreover, the American Association of Pulmonologists estimates that among the teenagers who smoke the first cigarette in their life, half will become heavy smokers.
Under these conditions, it is not surprising that you panic when you know that your teenager smokes. Moreover, you are afraid that he could advance with the vice and towards illegal substances, encouraged by his entourage.
Give them alternatives
Adolescents can adopt habits that put their health at risk, because they are going through an identity crisis. They are too young to be considered adults, but, on the other hand, they are required to be mature and responsible. Therefore, teenagers may have the false impression that if they smoke or drink alcohol, they are testing and exceeding their limits.
It is true that, no matter how hard you try, you will only manage to increase their curiosity through prohibitions. Therefore, it is not advisable to overwhelm the child with advice, nagging him continuously and watching his every move. Rather, explain to him that he has all the necessary qualities to impose himself in front of others and that smoking does not make him any more special.
Instead, suggest other activities that suit him and that would increase his self-confidence. Sign him up for soccer, dance, or maybe drawing or guitar lessons. All these extracurricular activities will distract him from the vice and, in addition, will bring him, in his circle of friends and beyond, the popularity he longs for.
Be an example yourself!
If you want your teenager not to become a smoker, have clear and open discussions with him about this topic. But if you yourself are a smoker, the child will constantly have access to cigarettes and will be tempted to imitate you. That is why it is essential to quit smoking if you want your teenager to quit, because the power of example has a much greater impact than advice.
Make him aware of the advantages of giving up
For teenagers, the fact that smoking increases the risk of heart disease, lung cancer or that it shortens life by 10 years are not valid arguments. But if you tell him that you will double the amount of money he raises if he stops spending on cigarettes so he can buy something he really wants, then you might be more successful.