Simply put, nicotine is a stimulant; as with any any drug, craving ensues, which can lead to addiction. Still, smoking has attributes which continue to be alluring to teens: the coolness factor, the fact that nicotine suppresses feelings as well as appetites, or that it creates the illusion of “calm” when someone’s feeling stress, or the simple fact that it’s an act of rebelliousness. Regardless, it certainly fits right into the risk-taking nature of adolescence.
Here are some common experiences from teens who smoke.
♣ They tried their first cigarette in sixth or seventh grade
♣ They often do not perform well in school
♣ They feel like they are not a part of the school
♣ They become isolated from other students
♣ They can’t perform as well at sports events
♣ They feel like they have little hope of going to college
♣ They feel like they need a job to support their smoking habit
♣ They are reported to school officials for skipping classes
♣ They start using other illegal substances
♣ They begin experimenting with alcohol and other drugs
♣ They experience pressure from home and school and use tobacco as a form of relief
♣ Teen smokers enjoy trying to hide their smoking