1) Smoking will make you anxious, irritated and depressed
While smoking a cigarette can make you feel energised momentarily, you begin to feel tired as the effects subside. That’s when the crave kicks in, which is no surprise since scientists have found that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine or amphetamines.
In other words, smoking physically changes your brain and when it stops getting the nicotine it is used to, you may feel anxious, irritable and depressed.
2) Your heart will be stressed and your blood sticky
Smoking raises your blood pressure and puts stress on your heart which weakens it and makes it less able to pump blood to other parts of your body. It also makes your blood sticky which is more likely to form blood clots that block flow to your heart, brain and lungs. Smoking lowers good cholesterol levels and raises blood pressure, which can result in stretching of the arteries and a buildup of bad cholesterol (atherosclerosis).
3) Less hair, poor vision and stretch marks ruin your looks
If you are concerned about how you look you should immediately quit smoking because it can not only cause premature thinning of your hair but can also impair your vision besides giving your face wrinkles and stretch marks — the last thing one would want on their face.
4) Smoking affects your sense of taste and disturbs digestive system
Smoking will slowly kill your taste buds and will depress your appetite so you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs. A smoker is at great risk of developing oral problems. Tobacco use can cause gum inflammation (gingivitis) or infection (periodontitis). These problems can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and bad breath. Further, smoking contributes to many common disorders of the digestive system, such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, and some liver diseases.
5) Smoking gives you chronic cough
Smokers have a higher risk of developing respiratory infections which cause frequent colds and flu. In a condition called emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs are destroyed. In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the tubes of the lungs becomes inflamed. Over time, smokers are at increased risk of developing these forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Years of lung irritation can give you a chronic cough with mucus.
6) It damages your ‘identity’
Our bodies are made up of cells which contain genetic material, or DNA, that acts as an instruction manual for cell growth and function and every single puff of a cigarette damages it. When the DNA is damaged, the instruction manual gets messed up and the cell can begin growing out of control. The body tires to repair the damage that smoking does to the DNA, but over time, smoking can wear down this repair system and lead to a cancer.
7) Smokers are at a higher risk of infertility
Smokers are at a higher risk of infertility and may encounter difficulties in achieving orgasm. While smoking can affect a man’s ability to get an erection due to restricted blood flow, it may also cause a premature menopause to women smokers. It also increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.
Women smokers experience more complications of pregnancy, including miscarriage, problems with the placenta, and premature delivery. Also, pregnant mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also more likely to have a baby with low birth weight. Babies born to mothers who smoke while pregnant are at greater risk of low birth weight, birth defects, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
8) It gives you cancers of all sorts
A single cigarette contains over 4,800 chemicals which can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body including, bladder, blood (acute myeloid leukemia), cervix, colon and rectum (colorectal), esophagus, kidney and ureter, larynx, liver, oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils), pancreas, stomach, trachea, bronchus, and lung. Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.
As a parent, getting to know that your teenager has succumbed to addiction can be devastating, disappointing, and shocking. No one wants to spend their hard-earned money educating their child, only to find out that they are drug addicts. Many parents will end up blaming themselves and wondering what they did wrong. Some will resent their teenager for not following the right path and being in the wrong crowd. These feelings are understood and are quite reasonable. However, the next steps you take can make or break the child. Get to know what caused it and get them into rehab. Avoid pointing fingers and accept the situation as it is. Doing this will help the family adjust to the new normal, and help them get through this difficult time.
Once the teenager has gone to rehab and is ready to come back home, parents get into a panic mode. This is because they are not sure if they will be able to handle it. For those parents who are stressed on how to go about this situation, read on. Below are some of the things that you can do to make them feel comfortable and not steer them back into addiction.
The parents should try at all costs not to bring up the teenager’s past mistakes. As a parent, you should remember that everyone makes mistakes, and your teenager is no different. Once you keep reminding them of their past mistakes, they will build a wall against you and may go back to the same vices. Have honest conversations with them, but be positive and show them that you believe in them. Children always want to make their parents proud; hence, when they see that you are positive and think that they can remain sober, they will work tirelessly to prove you right.
In case you are an addict as a parent, your child will most likely get back into it since they follow what they see their parents doing. It is therefore advised for the parents to be good role models. Do not disapprove of a substance and then use it, since your children will not take you seriously. An example of this is telling them not to smoke, yet they see you smoking every day. Doing this will make them not take you seriously with your advice; hence, they will not make changes if you are not doing so.
Do not give up on them; this may be a hard thing to do, and it will break your heart when they relapse, but it is crucial to know that it happens. Relapses are quite frequent, but the goal is to encourage them every time they fall, that they can rise. Encourage them every step of the way since addiction is a disease that takes a long time to cure. When they relapse, it is advised to talk to them and find out what caused it. Later, strategize on how you will go forward from there — work on the causation, and not the child. Once you give up, they will have no option but to relapse permanently.
Also, do not forget that your teenager is still a kid and that they love experimenting. Do not get too caught up and forget that they were doing it for the thrill. This will help you understand them and help them through the journey. Have faith that they will get better and do not be too hard on them as you might lose them along the way.
As a parent with a teenager fighting addiction, it is crucial to remember that you are not responsible for their addiction. Do not beat yourself up and look for ways to fix it, as that cannot happen in a day. It takes a lot of patience to help your kid, and they will need you now more than ever.