Many adults admitted that they started smoking at a very young age usually in their teen years. At that early age, teens are faced with a challenging environment. They experience changes both physically and mentally. These changes make it easy for teens to be influenced to start smoking. In fact, the number of teenage smokers has increased over the years and these youths are increasingly smoking boldly anywhere unashamedly.
Weakness of law enforcement
One of the reasons for the increasing number of teenage smoking is attributed to the weakness of law enforcement. Even though the law has stipulated that it’s illegal for those under the age of 18 to smoke in public or to buy cigarettes, authorities doesn't seem to be serious in implementing the enacted law. Since the authorities are only offering lip service, teens are not afraid to smoke in public places.
Influence of mass media
In addition to the weakness of law enforcement, the influence of the mass media that are free to publish cigarette advertisements also contribute to the problem of smoking among teenagers. Inexperienced youths are most susceptible to mass media advertising. Cigarette advertising posters and concerts sponsored by cigarette manufacturers targets teenagers whose main purpose in life at the moment is having fun. Teenagers are so impressionable and what they see in the mass media will be quickly copied and emulated. Therefore, many teenagers are influenced by the mass media to start smoking.
Friends are very special people and plays an important role in a teenager’s life. But friends can become a bad influence as when they would challenge and dare a teen to smoke. Faced with much peer pressure, the teenager will start to smoke and in the end become addicted to smoking.
Poor parenting also contributes to teenagers resorting to smoking. Busy parents fail to carry out their parental responsibilities. They are able to provide their children with physical wealth but are unable to give the love that their children are craving. Young people are not matured yet to handle the money that their parents give them and so without parental control, they have the means to buy whatever they want including cigarettes.
Whether the smoking habit of these teenagers can be stopped is difficult to say because the addiction to nicotine can be very strong that quitting smoking can be very challenging. This is why it’s important to nip the problem in the bud. Before they start experimenting with cigarettes, we should stop the habit before it gets too difficult to stop.