Dr. P.Naina Mohamed
Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood.
Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive drug that causes
many young people to progress from smoking occasionally to
The rates of cigarette smoking among high school juniors and seniors
are still higher than those of adults.
Many kids start using tobacco by age 11. And many are addicted by
The young generations feel proud in smoking and think it adds
another feather to their style.
Smoking is popular amongst the students who live in hostels,
Children and teens are easy targets for the tobacco industry.
Teens are often influenced by TV, movies, the Internet, advertising,
and their own friends.
Who is at risk?
• Young people are more likely to use tobacco if
o Have access to smoking areas and tobacco products especially to low
cost or free tobacco.
o Have tobacco using friends, brothers, or sisters.
o Watch movies that have smoking in them.
o Are not doing well in school or have friends who are not doing well in
o Are not engaged in school or religious activities.
o Use other substances, such as alcohol or marijuana.
Reasons for start smoking
The Tobacco Industry
o cigarette companies look to young people as replacement for adult quit
o They use a variety of marketing strategies to encourage new consumers
to try their products, and to continue using them.
Susceptibility of Youth and Young Adults
o Adolescence and young adulthood are the times when people are most
susceptible to starting tobacco use.
o Young people are more vulnerable and more influenced by marketing
o They are also more willing to take risks, even with their health. When
smoking is portrayed as a social norm among others who are seen as
cool, sophisticated, rebellious, or fun-loving, teens often respond by
copying the behavior and trying cigarettes themselves.
o If their friends smoke, or their siblings smoke, they are even more likely to
o young people are sensitive to nicotine.
o Youth may want to fit in with a group or seem older, edgier, or more
o Images that encourage tobacco use are everywhere from the Internet to
the movies to big, bright advertisements at convenience stores. All of
these factors make youth a prime market for tobacco products.
o Tobacco use is prominent in mass media, including in movies, social media, video games, and glossy
o Tobacco advertising both inside and outside retail stores is often the largest, most visible advertising for any
o young people are more likely to try tobacco themselves when they see tobacco use as a normal behavior
because their friends or family members use tobacco.
o Teens and young adults highly value their friendships and want to fit in with their group. What their peers do
—and especially what the leaders of their social groups do can have a strong influence on what they do.
o Young people whose friends smoke are much more likely to smoke as well.
o Nicotine is just as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
o Because they are sensitive to nicotine, teens can feel dependent on tobacco sooner than adults.
o There is also evidence that genetics might make it more difficult for some young people to quit smoking
once they have started.
o If Teens and young adults are exposed to images that portray smokers as cool, attractive, rebellious, funloving, risk-taking, or other characteristics they admire, young people may want to smoke, too.
o Such images are often found in advertising displays at convenience stores and other outlets that sell
o Communities that allow the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products near schools have higher rates
of youth tobacco use than do communities that have tobacco-free zones around schools.
o If teens and young adults see tobacco use in their homes or in public places within their communities, these
images encourage them to see smoking as a normal part of adult behavior.
Movies for youth, and even some movies for children, may include images of characters using tobacco.
These images are powerful because they can make smoking seem like a normal, acceptable, or even attractive
Young people may also look up to movie stars, both on and off screen, and may want to imitate behaviors they see.
KEEPING PRICES DOWN
Tobacco companies lower prices through coupons and other promotions
Teens are especially sensitive to pricing.
DESIGNING PRODUCTS THAT APPEAL TO YOUTH
Cigarettes that appeal to new smokers are often smoother and milder to improve taste and reduce the body’s
physical reaction to the smoke.
Cigarette-sized cigars are now available in many flavor varieties such as grape and strawberry that youth find
appealing in other products.
Many of these little cigars look exactly like cigarettes with a darker wrapper.
Many smokeless products are also flavored. These include chew and snuff which come in a variety of forms and new
smokeless products, such as dissolvable tobacco.
All of these products can cause serious health problems and lead to nicotine addiction and future smoking.
Young people sometimes use smokeless tobacco products in places where cigarettes are banned, such as schools.
Snus (dry snuff in a pouch), and dissolvable smokeless products in particular, provide a discreet way for young people
to maintain their addiction to nicotine even when they can’t smoke.
In fact, most youth users of these smokeless products also smoke cigarettes.
The biggest danger of these products is that they may introduce kids to nicotine, putting them at risk for nicotine
Cigarette marketing encourages the myth that smoking causes weight loss.
And it targets women with brand names that suggest thinness, as well as with long, thin cigarettes.
CREATING A PACKAGE THAT APPEALS TO YOUTH
Packaging has a powerful visual impact.
Words on packages, such as “slims” and “thins,” push the myth of weight loss.
Smokers tend to think that cigarettes in lighter-colored packs are “lighter” and safer than cigarettes in darker-colored
packs—even when both packs contain the exact same cigarettes.
Stages in youth smoking
• At this stage, the child not yet considers smoking but receives messages about
smoking from family members that smoke, advertising, films, television, and role
• The child’s curiosity and desire to try a cigarette is increased at this stage.
• Most youths will try a cigarette, but the majority do not become addicted or
become regular smokers.
• This stage involves repeated smoking attempts which may result in addiction to
nicotine and the youths tend to become regular smokers.
The factors like self-efficacy, self-perception, and coping begin to play a role.
• The continuation of regular smoking involves all influences with addiction being the
primary driving factor.
• This stage only happens once the individual reaches a decision to stop smoking.
Health effects of youth smoking
Short-term health consequences
• Respiratory and non respiratory effects
• Addiction to nicotine
• Associated risk of other drug use like Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, etc.
Long-term health consequences
• Reduction of the rate of lung growth and lung function
• Chronic lung diseases, like emphysema and bronchitis
• Shortness of breath
• More production of phlegm
• Elevated resting heart rates
• Blood vessel disease, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes at a young age
• Increased risk of lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers
• More frequent headaches
• Worst cold and flu symptoms
• Reduced physical fitness
• Worst overall health
• Gum disease and tooth loss
• Hearing loss
• Vision problems, such as macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness
• Excessive emotional or psychological complaint
• Increased risky behaviors, such as fighting and engaging in unprotected sex.
Tips for parents
Tips for parents to keep their kids tobacco-free:
o Parents can be the greatest influence in their kids’ lives.
o Try to avoid threats and ultimatums.
o Talk to your children about the risks of tobacco use — studies have shown that this works!
o If loved ones suffer with or died from tobacco-related illnesses, let your kids know.
o Let them know that tobacco use strains the heart, damages the lungs, and can cause a lot of
other problems, including cancer.
o Also mention what it can do to the way a person looks and smells: smoking makes hair and clothes
stink, causes bad breath, and stains teeth and fingernails.
o Spit and smokeless tobacco cause bad breath, stained teeth, tooth decay, tooth loss, and bone
loss in the jaw.
o Don’t use tobacco around your children, don’t offer it to them, and don’t leave it where they can
easily get it.
o Start talking about tobacco use when your children are 5 or 6 years old and continue through their
high school years.
o Know if your kids’ friends use tobacco. Talk about ways to say “no” to tobacco.
o Talk to your kids about the false glamorization of tobacco in the media, such as ads, movies, and
o If you use tobacco yourself and don’t want your children to start, know that you can still influence
o You can speak to your child firsthand about:
• How you got started and what you thought about it at the time
• How hard it is to quit
• How it has affected your health
• What it costs you, financially and socially
o If you can, keep your house smoke-free.
o Don’t smoke indoors and don’t let anyone else to do it either.
If you smoke, try to quit.
If you did smoke and have already quit, talk to your child
about what it was like for you. Personalize the little problems
around smoking and the big challenge of quitting.
Support your child.
Both you and your child need to prepare for the mood swings
and crankiness that can come with nicotine withdrawal.
Offer your teen the 5 Ds to get through the tough times:
Delay: The craving will go away with time.
Deep breath: Take a few calming deep breaths.
Drink water: It will help flush out the chemicals.
Do something else: Find a new, healthy habit.
Discuss: Talk about your thoughts and feelings.
Finally, reward your child when he or she quits.
Plan something special for you to do together.
Policies & Programs
o Make tobacco products less affordable.
o Restrict tobacco marketing.
o Ban smoking in public places such as workplaces, schools, day care
centers, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and parks.
o Require tobacco companies to label tobacco packages with large,
graphic health warnings.
o Evidence-based curricula in secondary schools
o Work with policies
o Influence people at work, at home, in school, in health care settings, and
in public places.
o Mass media campaigns against tobacco use most often TV ads have
proven very effective at helping prevent tobacco use by young people.
• As a society, we can no longer allow our young
people’s health to go up in smoke.
• We must work together to prevent teens and young
adults from using tobacco, and we must continue
to help those who start using tobacco to quit.
• In doing so, we will help young people live longer
and healthier lives than the generation who came
• Let’s make the next generation tobacco-free!