It’s hard to believe with all the information and education that has been provided about the dangers of smoking there are still teenagers who decide to adopt the habit. Smoking kills more people every year than all other drugs combined, nearly 400,000 people. Yet teens still continue to smoke. Most adult smokers began as teens, and most people who don’t begin in their teens will never start.
UCLA conducted research on the effects of smoking on brain function in teen smokers versus non-smokers. The results are very disturbing. The activity of the prefrontal cortex (the area used for decision-making) was seen to be much less in relation to higher levels of nicotine addiction. In other words, the more the teens smoked, the less their brain functioned. This is especially bad news for adolescents because this part of their brain has not yet fully developed.
Part of the sad irony in this situation is that the part of the brain that is inhibited by smoking is the part that would allow a person to decide to stop smoking. The more you smoke the less ability you have to rationalize dropping the habit.
The attempt to portray tobacco companies as “evil” has not had the effect on teens that many people hoped. Teens are often looking for a way to rebel, so although older generations may heed the warnings and avoid such a harmful product, the youth don’t always understand the dynamics of addiction and haven’t realized their mortality.
Luckily there are many products and services on the market to help people who want to stop smoking. The best thing is to never start smoking, but if it’s too late for that there are a few options below that may help you out.