Teens and tobacco

You may have started smoking to fit in with your friends. Maybe your parents smoke or your brother chews. Whatever the reason you began using tobacco, there are lots more reasons to stop:

  • You will be more in control of your life after you quit.
  • You will look better. Your hair, clothes, and breath will smell better, and your teeth will be whiter. Teens often report that they prefer dating and kissing people who don't use tobacco.
  • Add up how much you spend each week, month, or year on cigarettes (or chewing tobacco or snuff). What else could you do with that money?
  • Using spit tobacco causes bad breath, problems with teeth, and sores or spots inside the mouth.
  • Smoking is a poor way to lose weight or keep from gaining weight. Physical activity is much better for controlling weight, and it will give you muscle tone. Although some people gain weight after they quit, it's often temporary. Some people even lose weight after quitting because they become more active.
  • After you quit smoking, you will tire less easily after physical activity. Athletes perform better after they quit.
  • Smoking is much more addictive than you may believe. Over half of teens who start smoking become addicted. Stopping now is much easier.

Last Updated: July 22, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

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