Smoking habits of parents harmfully influences teenagers

Children exposed to parental smoking are likely to develop heart disease in adulthood

Smoking is not only injurious to your health but also influences the children. A recent study has even proven the fact that teenage kids are okay with smoking if their parents smoke. To understand the behaviour of the young generation regarding the smoking concern, the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences surveyed the minors under the guidance of Dr Samir Parikh.

The survey was focused on reaching out the school going teenagers. Therefore, the team engaged the 1900 students from the seven regions of the country including the capital, which are Chandigarh, Kolkata, Jaipur, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai. The team asked the kids to fill in the survey which was consisting of 13 questions. Statistical measures helped in concluding the results. Also, the results were in the value so that it can be used while forming policies for controlling the smoking.

Smoking is the reason behind more than 7 million deaths every year whereas 6 million people die because of the direct use of tobacco and around 9 lac people die because of passive smoking, stated in the report of WHO. The number of male smokers was 79 million in 1998, and it raised to 108 million in 2015. Even in 2015, WHO reported that 1.1 billion people smoke tobacco globally and in India, 34.6 percent young people are active smokers of which 20.3 percent are females, and 47.9 percent are males.

The study revealed some of the brow-raising facts. Such as around 90 percent minors think that smoking is a nonproblematic activity if their parents smoke. While 85 percent teenagers do not find smoking wrong to experiment with once. The 87 percent of underage kids have the opinion that on-screen smoking by the celebrities provokes the activity in real life.

However, above 78 percent people also believe that the celebrities or the public figure if promoting the antismoking campaigns then it will lead to productive results. The same number of teenagers also confessed that they know some of the school students who smoke. Meanwhile, 75 percent of teenagers find it difficult to say no to the peers or friends even when they are offering the cigarette and around 63 percent of teens think that showing harmful results of smoking can be helpful in the prevention.

The study also helped the team to understand the psyche of young kids, where 53 percent teens believe smoking helps in decreasing the stress level and 52 percent adolescents think smoking helps in increasing the concentration level.

Sadly, should we doubt the influence sources in our country? Because the 46 percent young children believe that if you want to appear mature and cool among the peers, smoking is the key. The survey also reported, only 19 percent teenagers think that taking the help of counsellor can help in prevention from smoking addiction.

The Director of Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, Dr Samir Parikh stated that “Understanding that there is a problem which needs to be approached is the initial step towards defeating tobacco obsession. Smoking is troubling the society, and we are moving into an era where it is fair for younger age groups to start smoking and involve in another risky behaviour.”

Dr Parikh further stated that this would lead to the origin of lifestyle-related disease, so the system needs to promote the training and empowerment of the individual who works for the welfare of children actively. To win the battle against the smoking and tobacco we have to well equipped with the knowledge such as what harmful effects smoking leaves on human mind and body. The fact should be well observed by every one who is the support system of the addicted person that the power of psychological dependence is remarkably high and it can only be demolished by taking small incremental steps with time.

After the results, some of the factors came which can help in changing the perception of today’s young generation. These factors are Media, Peers, Professionals, and Parents. These can play a significant role in eliminating the adverse influence which provokes the teenager towards smoking. Media is a huge thing which can help in raising awareness regarding smoking’s disastrous results.

Parents are a significant factor and often sets the ideals for their children. So if the parents will smoke in front of the kids, then it will surely leave a severe impact on the kids, though the research also proved the fact. Therefore, parents should set the right examples for their children, as proper parenting will lead to the correct beliefs of the kids.

Meanwhile, peer pressure is dangerous for the kids. During the puberty, teenagers are physically and emotionally sensitive. Peer pressure is something, every kid cannot cope up with. Therefore, teenagers commit mistakes and do such activities which are not good for their health like smoking and drinking alcohol. It happens just because of peer pressure.

So, parental guidance is required to teach their kids that how to deal with peers pressure and moral values of the right and wrong things. The lesson should be taught to the children that surrounding yourself with the right people is very important for a good lifestyle. Professional help is also the key factor in making the kids understand the disadvantages of smoking and other addictions. Proper counselling sessions in the schools can play a major decisive role in teaching the young minds.

You just need to be very patient if you want to make your loved ones to leave this addiction. Kids do imitate their parents so always make sure that they do not get bad influence from your actions.

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Megha Singh

A news media professional with a strong experience in online journalism, content management, and social media. Megha’s strength includes the sound knowledge of health, yoga, meditation, and proficiency in packaging content for health-related issues.

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