Smoking is a habit that is often picked up due to peer pressure. Groups of like-minded people will influence each other’s habits, and for teenagers, it is not always the best habits that are adopted. Movie stars and music artists portray smoking as a cool thing, and in the experimental years of teens, smoking can be seen as looking sophisticated. Reports show that more teen girls than teen boys are smoking. Research by the American Lung Association shows that girls smoke for the following reasons:
Avoid putting on weight.
Studies have shown that cigarettes usually sedate hunger. Teens are conscious about their body especially the size. Teenage girls who are not content with their body image may start smoking to avoid eating more.
Relieve anxiety and stress
Teenagers are emotionally unbalanced as they are undergoing puberty. This stage of life has been found to cause pressure build-up, and adolescents will look for ways to blow off some steam. Smoking clears anxiety, but with a hefty price to pay, such as increased chances of lung, throat, and mouth cancer.
The need for more independence and maturity
As an act of rebellion, teenagers pick up smoking as a sign they are independent and mature. Before a teenager is hooked on smoking, she needs to understand what it means to be mature and recognize the increase of responsibilities that independence brings.
Some of these issues may resonate across the sexes. However, it has been found that boys will quit earlier than girls if they were to pick up the habit. Teenage boys are mostly concerned with sports, fancy rides, and strength exercises. Generally speaking, boys are not as overly concerned with their looks and body image.