Effects of Underage Tobacco Use

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Effects of Underage Tobacco Use

Although the consequences of smoking — such as cancer, heart attack and stroke — are real, they're probably beyond the realm of your teen's concern. Rather than lecturing your teen on the long-term dangers of smoking, you might ask your teen what he or she considers the negative aspects of smoking. Once your teen has had his or her say, offer your own list of negatives. Consider appealing to your teen's vanity:

  • Smoking gives you bad breath.
  • Smoking makes your clothes and hair smell.
  • Smoking turns your teeth and fingernails yellow.
  • Smoking makes you look pale and unhealthy.
  • Smoking causes wrinkles.
  • Smoking leaves you with a hacking cough and phlegm.
  • Smoking zaps your energy for sports and other favorite activities.

Of course, smoking is also expensive. Prompt your teen to calculate the weekly, monthly or yearly cost of smoking. You might compare the cost of smoking with electronic gadgets, clothes or other items your teen considers important.  (Source CDC, Mayo Clinic)