Teen smoking could lead to drug addiction: Experts
Medical studies have revealed that teenagers who smoke tobacco are three times more likely to use psychotropic substances.
Smoking does not only kill millions every year, it is also considered a "gateway" to drug addiction, making it more important for the youth to be aware of its dangers, said authorities in Abu Dhabi as they issued a fresh warning about the dangers of tobacco use.
Medical studies have revealed that teenagers who smoke tobacco are three times more likely to use psychotropic substances than non-smokers, according to the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in Abu Dhabi.
Officials at the NRC are now urging families to address smoking among the youth as early as possible, especially as curious youngsters would usually try experimenting with things that are new to them.
"Since last year, the centre has started conducting anti-smoking awareness campaigns in schools across the country to educate students about the dangers of smoking with a focus on nicotine, because it is one of the strongest substances that cause addiction," said officials.
In partnership with Emirates National Schools, the NRC has carried out campaigns about the harmful effects of smoking, targetting students from Grade 10 to Grade 12.
The campaigns also explain the dangers that may be caused by electronic cigarettes, which are becoming more popular these days but are just as harmful as ordinary cigarettes.
Peer pressure is a factor
Family counsellor Issa Al Maskari said many children start the habit of smoking during their teenage years because of many reasons. Among these are peer pressure and lack of monitoring in the family, making it hard for parents to persuade their children to quit the habit after they have become addicts.
"Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits and teenagers can easily be influenced by their friends to learn using tobacco," said Al Maskari.
The counsellor also stressed the importance of monitoring children and the activities they get involved in all the time.
"It is good that youngsters are educated about the dangers of smoking tobacco right from their home by their parents and in schools, so as to prevent them from learning the bad habit."
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