Tobacco

Tobacco Information for Teens

 

 

Join the smoke-free crowd!

Did you know that each day, nearly 3,000 adolescents become daily smokers? That's one million new smokers each year. Tobacco use is actually on the decrease in Marshalltown and around the country, but too many youth and adults are still risking their health by smoking.

To join Youth Tobacco Prevention at Marshalltown High School, contact Shannon Chyma or at 641-752-5421.

Three great reasons not to smoke:

  • It will save you thousands of dollars a year (just think what you can do with that!)
  • It will add 10 or more years to your life (your children will thank you). In the United States, smoking is responsible for about 1 out of 5 deaths.
  • You‘ll be healthier. Over the long term, smoking leads to health problems like heart disease, stroke, emphysema (breakdown of lung tissue), and many types of cancer - including lung, throat, stomach, and bladder cancer. People who smoke also have an increased risk of infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Know what the laws are about underage tobacco use.

What smoking does to you:

  • Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily.
  • Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke.
  • The consequences of smoking may seem very far off, but long-term health problems aren't the only hazard of smoking. Nicotine and the other toxins in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can affect a person's body quickly, which means that teen smokers experience many of these problems:
  • Bad skin. Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin - which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. Studies have also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.
  • Bad breath. Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.
  • Bad-smelling clothes and hair. The smell of stale smoke tends to linger - not just on people's clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it's often hard to get the smell of smoke out.
  • Reduced athletic performance. People who smoke usually can't compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance.
  • Greater risk of injury and slower healing time. Smoking affects the body's ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.
  • Increased risk of illness. Studies show that smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia than nonsmokers. And people with certain health conditions, like asthma, become more sick if they smoke (and often if they're just around people who smoke). Because teens who smoke as a way to manage weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies also lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop, and fight off illness properly.

About smokeless tobacco

90% of Marshalltown 11th graders, 99% of 8th graders and 100% of 6th graders said they’ve never tried smokeless or chewing tobacco. But nationally, as many as 20% of high school boys and 2% of high school girls use smokeless tobacco. Of the 12 to 14 million American users, one-third are under age 21 and more than half of those developed the habit before they were 13. Just like smoking, smokeless tobacco can have the same effects. Smokeless products contain 28 different cancer-causing agents and three to four times more nicotine than cigarettes. Such high levels of nicotine can raise blood pressure and heart rate as well as increase the risk of heart attack. There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco product.

More information about smokeless tobacco:

What about hookahs and e-cigarettes?

Do you want to stop smoking? Go to www.quitnow.net/iowa/ and find out how. Or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Other resources to help you or someone you know quit smoking:

Tobacco Information for Adults

Raising kids who don’t smoke

There’s good news about Marshalltown youth and smoking from the Iowa Youth Survey:

From 1999 to 2009, Marshalltown saw a 25% decrease in the smoking day usage pattern for 11th graders and a 9% decrease for 8th graders. Nationally, youth smoking rates have also been on the decline, but it remains a significant problem. Each day, nearly 3,000 adolescents become daily smokers (that’s one million new smokers each year). More than 80% of adult smokers begin smoking before 18 years of age.

More facts from the Iowa Youth Survey:

  • 10% of Marshalltown 11th graders said they had their first cigarette when they were 15 or 16 years old. 7% said they were 11 or 12 years old. 5% of 8th graders said they were 11 or 12 when they smoked their first cigarette and 3% said they were 13 or 14.
  • In the past year, 57% of Marshalltown 11th graders said their parents/guardians have not talked to them about tobacco. 40% of 8th graders and 31% of 6th graders said their parents/guardians have not talked to them about tobacco.
  • 40% of Marshalltown 11th graders said it wouldn’t change their popularity with the other students in school if they smoked cigarettes. 38% of 8th graders and 38% of 6th graders said it wouldn’t change their popularity in school.
  • 82% of Marshalltown 11th graders said their parents/guardians would think it was very wrong if they smoked cigarettes. 86% of 8th graders and 92% of 6th graders said their parents would think it was very wrong.

Some warning signs your child might be smoking:

  • Has he started using breath mints, gum or mouthwash?
  • Does she have friends who smoke?
  • Has he started making excuses to go outside?
  • Have you seen matches in her bedroom or a lighter in her purse or backpack?
  • Has he started leaving the bedroom windows open for no reason?
  • Has she started avoiding close contact with you or other family members?
  • Here’s more warning signs.

What to do if your child smokes:

  • Stay calm and cool - Calm and compassionate communication works best. Positive parent talk.
  • Ask the right questions - Simply ask your teen why they are smoking. They may not have an answer, so be more specific and say: “Let’s talk about why you might be smoking. Are you worried about fitting in? Try to gather information about how your teen got started. Your aim is to find out what appeals to your child about smoking and what other problems he might be trying to solve by using tobacco.
  • Without lecturing, remind your teen of the health risks and other negative effects of smoking such as the cost, diseases like cancer, how it causes wrinkles, yellow teeth, bad breath, etc. Also, discuss the signs of addiction: strong urges to smoke, feeling anxious or irritable when they’re not smoking. Also remind them of the cost of cigarettes.
  • Set boundaries. Make it clear that smoking is unhealthy and unacceptable.
  • Give them a break. Adolescent smokers who are addicted to nicotine have the same withdrawal symptoms as adults. Be supportive and let them know you realize how difficult it is to quit and that you are proud of them for doing it.
  • Remember that you are the greatest influence in your child’s life. More helpful tips.


More good talking points

Know the laws about underage tobacco use.

Reasons teens say they smoke:

  • “To be cool.”
  • “My friends encouraged me to smoke.”
  • “I wanted to try it or experiment.”
  • “It helps me to be thin.”
  • “I’m around people who smoke all the time.”
  • “It helps me to relieve my stress.”

What if you smoke too?

  • Even if you smoke, you can talk to your child about not smoking. Most parents who smoke feel like a hypocrite when they tell their child not to smoke. Children whose parents smoke cigarettes are at a much greater risk of smoking themselves.
  • Teens are more likely to respond to the immediate effects of smoking such as cost, smelly clothes, bad breath rather than the long-term health risks.
  • Set consequences for smoking and be prepared to follow through. Let your child know that smoking is unacceptable.
  • Share your story about why you started smoking. If you began to smoke because your friends smoked, tell her. When you first started smoking how long did you think you would keep smoking? Has that changed? Talk about your addiction to cigarettes and the effect smoking has had on your health. If you have tried to quit, tell her how difficult it is.
  • If you are considering quitting, remember that adolescent smokers are twice as likely to quit when their parents quit too.
  • Keep your cigarettes where your children can’t get them.

Smokeless tobacco
90% of Marshalltown 11th graders, 99% of 8th graders and 100% of 6th graders said they’ve never tried smokeless or chewing tobacco. But nationally, as many as 20% of high school boys and 2% of high school girls use smokeless tobacco. Of the 12 to 14 million American users, one-third are under age 21 and more than half of those developed the habit before they were 13. Just like smoking, smokeless tobacco can have the same effects. There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco product.

More information about smokeless tobacco:

Do you want to quit smoking?

SATUCI can come to your business to talk about cessation. Contact Shannon Chyma for Freedom from Smoking classes information. Check out the resources listed below to help you quit smoking or to help you help your child quit smoking.

Resources for parents:

Be in the know about the latest trends in smoking

Want to help youth refrain from starting smoking? Join PROTECT (People Respecting Others Through Education Concerning Tobacco). Its mission is to provide tobacco education and awareness to create healthy communities and support individuals through community action and policy advocacy. Contact Shannon Chyma at SATUCI.