Smoking and Teens: Time to Quit


It’s probably not news to you that smoking is bad for your body. It causes wrinkles and turns your teeth yellow, and puts you at risk for diseases. Here’s a newsflash for you ladies, though. Smoke hates you more than it hates guys!
  • It is harder for females to quit than it is for males.
  • Smoke can be more harmful to female lungs than male lungs.
  • The younger you start, the harder it is to quit!
  • This means that starting to smoke as a female teen is asking for trouble. So, quit smoking or don’t start for YOU…for your health and beauty, today and in the future.
  • Smoking ads may try to make smoking look cool, but you’re smarter than that. The tobacco companies are not looking out for you, so you have to look out for yourself. Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit – either way you win by not giving them your money!

What smoking does to your body

Soon after you start, smoking causes yellow teeth and bad breath (gross!), as well as health problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, upset stomach, and dizziness. When you are older, you can get major health problems from smoking, like cancer and heart disease. Smoking will also make your skin wrinkle.

What quitting can do for your health

  • 12 hours after quitting, the dangerous carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart and lungs begin to work better.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting, coughing, fatigue, and shortness of breath start to go away.
  • 1 year after quitting, your risk of heart disease goes down.

Why do people smoke?

Stress. Smoking leads to more stress. Learn how to manage stress with tips from

Habit. If you feel like you can’t stop smoking, ask a doctor or nurse for help

Boredom. Smoking to fill time? Find other things that you like to do instead, like jog, read, or shop.

Others smoke. Stay strong and tell your friends and family they should quit, too.

Can’t quit. Don’t think you’ll be able to quit? Start thinking positive – yes, you can!

Weight control. Quitting doesn’t add pounds, eating more does. Exercise and eat healthy to keep from gaining.

How to quit

Sick of spending money on cigarettes, smelling like an ashtray, and your friends hassling you about smoking? Then you are ready to quit!

1) Set a quit date and tell everybody when you are going to stop
2) Throw away all your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays.
3) When you get the urge to smoke, do something else…take deep breaths or drink a glass of water.
4) Carry things with you to put in your mouth, such as gum or hard candy.
5) Stay busy by going to the movies, riding your bike, walking the dog, or hanging out with a friend.
6) Spend time in places where you are not allowed to smoke, such as the movies or the mall.
7) The first few days after quitting, don’t hang with smokers or in places you used to smoke.
8) Drink lots of water and fruit juice…stay away from drinks with caffeine, like soda, coffee or tea.

Be prepared! You may be crabby and feel on edge for a couple of weeks or longer, but then your body will
forget nicotine and you will feel better. Once you feel better, you may still want to smoke at times, but stay
strong…it’s easy to get hooked again and you don’t want to throw away all that hard work.

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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