Smoking Facts – Why Young People Are Ignoring the Facts About Smoking and Health

The facts about smoking are stark and scary, and well-publicised, yet every day, 3000 children light up their first cigarette. The facts about smoking tell us that of those 3000 children, 1000 of them will …

The facts about smoking are stark and scary, and well-publicised, yet every day, 3000 children light up their first cigarette. The facts about smoking tell us that of those 3000 children, 1000 of them will eventually die from smoking-related health conditions. Smoking imposes huge costs on our medical infrastructure, reduces the quality of life as well as the duration, and results in billions of dollars of lost productivity in the workforce. The personal costs of smoking are clearly evident from the educational campaigns. Why are thousands of kids ignoring the loud and clear warnings about the dangers of smoking?

The Scary Smoking Facts That Don’t Make Any Difference To Kids

There are an estimated 440,000 smoking-related deaths every year in the USA, and health care for smoking-related illness costs over $150 billion a year. And here we are, with 3000 kids a day ignoring the educational messages with these alarming statistics, and calmly taking up a habit they know is likely to cause them irreparable damage.

We know that over time, one in three of these young people will be killed by illnesses directly related to their smoking habit. It is very important that the adults around them empower young people to make the right decisions for their health and longevity. Yes, young people will experiment, and take risks they don’t understand, but in the long run they look to us, the adults in their lives, to provide them with direction and support in making the right choices. Educators and health professionals are clearly missing the mark with their warnings – talking up the facts about the harm smoking can do is not having any impact on the rates of young people taking up this dangerous habit. The fear factors which seem most important to adults – cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and death – simply have no impact on these kids, whose average age is just 16.

The Under-Emphasised Smoking Facts That Really Matter To Kids

As part of their project work, students in our Certificate IV in Business, mostly under 25 years of age themselves, have identified key smoking disadvantages which actually matter to kids. They present these smoking facts on their own website, with cartoons, bullets, and images, to create a contemporary anti-smoking message that might actually make a difference to the health of the next generation. We need to emphasise the smoking facts that are meaningful to the Millennials – the generation of instant gratification, multi-media, and “what’s in it for me – today?” These kids don’t give two hoots about something that might happen when they are 40, or even 30. We need to choose the smoking facts that matter to them in the here and now – relatively minor points such as: smoking makes your breath smell, cigarettes are expensive, and smoking makes you look less intelligent.

Sometimes it can seem to us that we are powerless to do anything about smoking in young people, but the research tells us otherwise. We simply need to speak in terms which young people understand, and can relate to. It is not our own perceptions, and what we consider important, that will make the difference – we really need to be speaking in terms which make immediate sense to young people in the “here and now”, today.

Using The Facts About Smoking To Influence Young People Adults often forget that to young people, something that will happen in ten years seems as though it will simply never happen. Even three years can be an unimaginably long time to a teenager. If you want to influence young people to quit smoking, or to avoid starting in the first place, find out which facts about smoking [] are the ones to emphasise in your communications. Don’t ever think that there is nothing you can do – our young people need your commitment and your stand for them. Armed with the right information, you will be able to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the next generation. Meg Trainer has a degree in Psychology, and specialises in helping people to oversome their emotional limitations and create the live they really want to live. Find out which smoking facts [] really matter to young people today at

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