Smoking can affect more than just your health – Children and Young People
Did you know in England and Wales at least 23,000 young people will take up smoking by the age of 15 every year! Most will live with family members who smoke, seeing smoking as a very normal behaviour.
The younger someone takes up smoking, the more harm they can cause to themselves, becoming extremely addicted very quickly. Smoking impairs lung growth, which can lead to your lungs not working as well as they should and affecting your breathing, especially when exercising. You can also risk chronic obstructive lung disease in later life as well as the other main health issues such as cancers or even heart disease.
Most children and young people know that smoking is bad for them, but when all your friends are taking up the habit, it seems a cool and sexy thing to do!! So, you try it! and quickly begin to get addicted to it every time your out and about with your friends, just to fit in.
It is important that a child or young person knows about the health risks, but they must also deal with other changes associated with smoking, such as –
Bad breath – smoking makes your breath smell bad, you could get a condition called halitosis, better known as lasting bad breath
Bad teeth – smokers suffer with gum disease, yellow/brown staining and tooth loss
Bad smelling clothes and hair that tends to hang around on peoples clothing, furniture and in cars
The physical appearance of your skin will change – greasier spots, poor skin tone, early onset of saggy skin, wrinkles and lines around the lips and under eyes (crow’s feet) as well as dark circles.
Stained fingers and hair loss
It can affect how you feel – It’s been proven that young people aged 11-15 who recently drunk alcohol, smoked cigarettes and have taken drugs, experienced lower levels of happiness, than those that don’t. (NHS Digital)