Smoking affects teens more than adults, say health experts
Studies have shown that early signs of heart disease and stroke can be found in adolescents who smoke.
Smoking at a very young age has long-term consequences on an individual's health, according to health experts.
Dr Ahmed Alhaj Saleh, Consultant Internal Medicine at Medeor 24x7 Hospital in Dubai, says that smoking affects THE health of everyone around, especially those standing close by. "But it affects young adults and teens more. Short-term health consequences include respiratory and non-respiratory effects, addiction to nicotine and associated risk of other drug use," he explained.
Most young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout adulthood. "Cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung function than those who have never smoked," he said.
Studies have shown that early signs of heart disease and stroke can be found in adolescents who smoke. On average, someone who smokes a pack or more of cigarettes each day lives seven years less than someone who never smoked.
Dr Nashwa Bahaa El Din, Specialist, Pediatrics at Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi, said that smoking has a major effect on children's health more than adults'. It is important for parents to set a good example. "If you are smokers, quit smoking. If you are having difficulties quitting, try not to smoke in front of them," said Dr El Din.
"Teenagers assume that they will be healthy for a long time and do not have to worry about their health for the time being," she added.
The health risks of smoking
Although the consequences of smoking - such as cancer, heart attack and stroke - are real, they're probably not on your teen's mind. Rather than lecturing your teen on the dangers of smoking, ask what he or she considers as its negative aspects. Consider appealing to your teen's vanity, as young people are very conscious about their appearance:
. Smoking at an early age increases the risk of lung cancer
. Increased risk of illnesses
. Risk of heart diseases
. Weakened immune system
. Shortens lifespan
. Gives you bad breath
. Makes your clothes and hair smell
. Turns your teeth and fingernails yellow
. Causes premature wrinkles
. Causes shortness of breath and a persistent cough
. Zaps your energy for sports and other activities
. It's an expensive habit
. Reduces physical fitness, both in performance and endurance
. Elevated heart rate