Many teenagers start smoking due to peer pressure. In fact, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost nine out of 10 smokers begin smoking before they turn 18.
More than 3,800 people 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette every day in the US. Fortunately, young people can take steps to kick the habit before it ruins their health. Some of the measures you can take are listed here.
A Healthy, Positive Support System
If you are serious about quitting smoking, get support from a counsellor, smokers support group, family members, or a religious authority. This is important because giving up tobacco is a battle that you are unlikely to wage successfully alone. Your support system will help you remain focused on the end goal (quitting smoking), steer you away from peer pressure, help you deal with withdrawal symptoms, and offer advice on issues that may crop up along the way.
Keep Your Mouth Busy
One of the most effective ways of fighting the urge to light up a cigarette is to keep your mouth occupied by chewing something such as gum, hard candy, mint, or sunflower seed. In fact, it is advisable to have such substitutes at hand always. In addition, keep your hands busy with items such as squeeze ball, rubber band, pen, pencil or a paper clip.
To avoid thinking about smoking, keep your mind occupied with an activity that you love or a hobby. Some of the hobbies or activities you could try include painting, making handcrafts, gardening, computer programming, jogging, swimming, cycling, playing basketball, visiting the elderly, lifting weights at the gym, and aerobics. Physical activities are beneficial because they reduce the risk of putting on excess weight and developing medical conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, and type II diabetes.