The National Institutes of Health’s Newest Initiative Combats Teen Smoking

Posted 11/07/2012 | By HealthCorps

When you were young, the adults in your life made most of your decisions for you. But now, you make decisions that have a big impact on the direction your life takes (like, “Who do you want to be?” “What do you value?”). These are huge questions, with no easy answers.

Some of you may be faced with some tough decisions about smoking. Are you thinking of starting? Already started and wondering if you should quit? We aren’t going to tell you what to do. That’s your call. We want you to have the right information to help you make the best decision for you. Here are some common smoking myths. We think all teens should know the facts.

Myth #1: “I’m young. I can quit smoking whenever I want!”
Fact: Smoking as a teen can lead to a more intense nicotine addiction. When a teen’s brain is exposed to nicotine, it develops twice as many specialized nicotine receptors as an adult’s brain—making it very difficult to quit smoking.

Myth #2: “Smoking helps me de-stress.”
Fact: Although you might feel like smoking helps you deal with tough times, it’s not the smoking that’s helping. You probably feel better because you’re taking a timeout. There are plenty of ways to cope with stress.

Myth #3: “Smoking will help me lose weight.”
Fact: Young people who smoke are not thinner than those who don’t. The best way to reach (or stay at) a healthy weight is through nutrition and exercise.

Myth #4: “I’ll lose my friends if I quit smoking.”
Fact: It might not be that friends don’t want to support you; they may not know how to. Try talking with them about it! Plus, four out of five teens don’t smoke. This means that you most likely have some non-smoking friends who will have your back.

Myth #5: “I have to change my life to quit smoking. I don’t want to do that.”
Fact: Smokefree Teen provides free resources to help you quit smoking on your terms. You can quit over text message; smartphone app; web, or social media.

It’s your life, your health, your call. If you want to be smokefree, we’re here to help.

Seriously, you’re #WorthTheQuit.

Guest Blog Entry by: Smokefree Teen

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