Things to know about smoking and how to quit

Deciding to smoke is a choice that only you can make. Smoking can be dangerous to your health, as well as for those around you. Quitting smoking is difficult and might take a few tries, but there are ways to make it easier.

Deciding to smoke is a choice that only you can make. People smoke for lots of different reasons. Whether you’re a frequent smoker or you’ve never smoked before, you should understand the risks to your health. It only takes a short time to become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. You’ll know you’re addicted when you find yourself craving cigarettes and feeling nervous without them.

Why people smoke

Some people decide to try smoking a few times and then choose not to do it again. Some continue to smoke.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people smoke:

  • peer pressure from friends or family
  • to cope with stress or strong emotions
  • to take a break
  • to lose weight
  • to look cool

Why people don’t smoke

There are lots of reasons why people don’t smoke:

#1. Smoking is damaging to your health

The earlier you start smoking, the harder it is to quit. Some of the health problems associated with smoking include:

  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • respiratory problems
  • lung damage
  • problems with pregnancy
  • damage, decay and disease to teeth and gums
  • nicotine addiction

#2. Smoking is dangerous for people around you

Second-hand smoke can cause health problems for non-smokers, like:

  • coughing and chest discomfort
  • lung infections
  • ear infections
  • asthma attacks
  • cancer

#3. Smoking has physical impacts

Frequent smoking can cause:

  • yellow fingers and teeth
  • bad breath
  • smelly clothes and hair
  • shortness of breath
  • decreased performance in sports

Smoking is a personal choice. If you think your friends won’t want to be around you unless you smoke, talk to them. Good friends will understand and respect your choices.

Quitting smoking

Most people stop a few times before they finally quit smoking. If you can’t quit on the first try that’s OK. Try again when you’re ready. The longer you don’t smoke, the more benefits you’ll see.

Try these tips to help make quitting easier:

  • talk to your doctor about the best way to quit
  • make a list of all the reasons you want to quit and post it in a place where you’ll see it frequently
  • tell other people that you’re quitting and ask them to support you
  • choose a “quit date” and stick to it
  • quit with a friend
  • join a support group or start one of your own
  • reward yourself for your success

Need more information or support? You can contact Kids Help Phone 24/7.