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Most people who have been smoking for years admit to picking up the habit when they were young. Peers more easily influence their teenage counterparts and they will tend to pick up habits that will help them to ‘fit in’. Those who start smoking early are more likely to suffer from severe long term effects. The longer one has been smoking, the harder it will be to quit the habit.
While the young people might feel good when they start the habit, they soon begin to regret their actions when they begin to experience the negative effects. Several things affect the young people who smoke.
• Poor Oral Health
Young people are at a stage where their bodies are changing, and they have many self-esteem issues to deal with. Teenagers who smoke have the added burden of dealing with bad breath and other dental issues. This can affect their self-esteem, as they feel isolated from their peers. A teenager with stained teeth will feel self-conscious and this can herald the beginning of other personality problems like indiscipline.
• Body Odors
A teenager who is trying to date and is walking around smelling of stale cigarette smoke will not be very successful. The smell that lingers on clothes, skin and hair for days can cause the teenager to lose friends. Most smokers do not realize how strong the smell is and the teenager might not understand why he keeps getting turned down for dates. The teenager can end up with an inferiority complex that can linger on for decades.
• Respiratory Ailments
Teenage smokers are more likely to catch respiratory ailments like the flu, colds, pneumonia and bronchitis. They also take longer to recover from the ailments than those who do not smoke. Research has shown that the smoking teenagers have smaller lungs than those who do not smoke. Those suffering from asthma have a lower lung capacity and will tend to have more severe symptoms. Persistent coughing and shortness of breath is common among the young smokers.
• Skin Conditions
Most teenagers have to deal with poor skin condition as the body changes, but the situation becomes even worse when the teenager is a smoker. Smoking dries the skin and restricts blood vessels, affecting the appearance.
Oxygen does not flow adequately in the skin, and this leads to yellow or pale looking skin. Teenage smokers also increase their risk or getting psoriasis. They also experience premature aging, which is characterized by wrinkles and other skin conditions.
• Physical Fitness
A teenager who smokes will have reduced physical fitness, and this will affect his or her endurance and athletic performance, while also increasing the risk of injury. This happens because the decreased blood circulation prevents the body from producing enough collagen that is necessary for muscle repair. A young person who smokes will lose the chance of performing well in sports activities and this can further affect their self-esteem and ability to relate well with others.
• Heart Disease
Young people who smoke cigarettes have an increased chance of getting heart disease and stroke. Studies show that signs of the diseases can be evident even at that early age. The resting heart rates of the smokers are much faster than for non-smokers. They are more likely to suffer from shortness of breath and they will generally experience more health problems than those who do not smoke.
• Social Behavior
Young people who smoke have a higher risk of engaging in negative social behaviors that put them at risk. They are more likely to use drugs like cocaine and marijuana and will most likely start drinking alcohol at an early age.
They are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like getting involved in fights, having unprotected sex and even becoming violent. They tend to suffer from emotional and psychological problems and in many cases; their education is affected by this destructive behavior.
Smoking leads to a reduced life span and those who start smoking early will usually experience long-term effects that affect their quality of life. It is harder to quit smoking when one started the habit as a teenager. Fortunately, several treatment options can help teenagers to quit the habit. Those who quit have a good chance of living a normal healthy life.
Jay is a blogger who blogs extensively on health issues. He has written for International Vapor Group and has a lot of passion in writing topics concerning healthy living.
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