Smoking and Teens – How to Set an Example for Your Friends

Smoking and Teens – How to Set an Example for Your Friends

Teen smoking is not the problem that it once was, but it is still a very real issue. You probably cringe every time you see one of your friends take a drag off of a cigarette. The smell alone is enough to make you want to walk away. You probably know that once the addiction sets in, turning back from that road becomes more difficult by the day. You can help your friends avoid smoking by setting an example for them. You may not be able to make their choices for them, but you can help them see that there are better options to choose from.

Express Distaste

You don’t have to cut your friends down. If you do, they might just avoid you. However, you can let them know that the smell bothers you. Frequently empty the ashtray, offer them a breath mint or do other small things that discourages them from wanting to light up around you. The fewer cigarettes they smoke around you, the better their chances of developing a habit that doesn’t include smoking. You also don’t need the second hand smoke damages yourself.

Choose Physical Activity

Choosing physical activity as a hobby offers more than one way to lead by example. For one thing, smokers usually smoke when they are inactive. They might be bored or it may have become a habit to them to light up when they are sitting down. Whatever the case may be, your friend is not going to light up a cigarette as she does laps around the track.

The other side of the coin is that smokers have a difficult time breathing when they engage in physical activity. Their lungs have been compromised and it makes it difficult for them to breathe. They might begin to enjoy the feeling of breathing more after they start to get more active. Because of this, they will smoke less and may start to look at their cigarettes in a whole new way.

Choose Non-Smoking Options

It’s not hard to find places to go where smoking isn’t allowed. Most restaurants and other public places don’t allow smoking. Find some affordable options so that you and your friends can enjoy a day out in public. All the while your smoker friends will have to make special arrangements in order to have a cigarette. This may mean sitting in a vehicle on a cold day or it could mean measuring off eight feet from the closest public doorway. Whichever option they choose, don’t feel like you have to join them. The less time you spend helping your friends smoke, the closer you get to helping them quit.

How many times do you hear the word “no” and want to do the complete opposite? It’s human nature to push the bar. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of smoking, help your friends focus on the positive aspects of not smoking. You’ll find that this is much less exhausting for you and your friend won’t feel pressured. You might even be able to develop some new healthy habits together.

7 Comments
  1. Allie says

    I smoked for almost 20 years — I quit 3 years ago. Hardest thing ever. My advice, don’t start.

    1. Jen says

      Yes! Well done for quitting! And they say stopping smoking is harder than stopping heroin!!! I believe it.

  2. Janelle says

    Best way to quit is cold turkey. It takes three days for nicotine to leave your system. One puff, another 3 days.

  3. Pamela says

    Great tips, I think you have to accept friends who want to smoke or they will push you away.

  4. Jen says

    AMAZING! My mom actually LET me smoke when I was 14!!! Her parenting ideas were not the smartest 🙁

  5. DD says

    Don’t start because it’s hard to stop!

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