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Quitting: What it means for teen smokers


If you ask anyone you meet whether or not smoking is harmful to your health, the vast majority of people will say yes. Though this would probably have not been the case fifty years ago, today it is safe to say that the dangers of smoking are largely understood among the American population. From shocking ads to increased prices, the campaign to reduce smoking has only increased in the past decade, urging current and possible smokers to take their health into their own hands.

And yet,  in 2012, the CDC reported that  6.7% of middle school and 23.3% of high school students were currently using tobacco products, including cigarettes. Of course all the health issues associated with smoking apply to teen smokers as well. But if they know that “smoking is bad for you”, why do they continue doing it?

What most of us often forget is that smoking is an addictive habit that can be extremely difficult to stop, especially for teenagers. Though they may not have been smoking as long as adults smokers, studies have shown that unlike most experienced smokers, teens can feel cravings for cigarettes even when not "provoked" by triggers such as seeing someone smoke. They also have stronger reaction to smoking-specific cues than their adult counterparts. The physical dependence on nicotine alone can be hard to manage and for some, it may also be challenging to find alternative ways to handle their stress. When the typical smoking cessation options prove to be unhelpful, many give up their efforts to quit smoking.

Though quitting may be difficult for teen smokers, it is extremely important to help them to take control of their addiction. Their efforts to quit should be acknowledged, encouraged and supported because dealing with a nicotine addiction can be a difficult process.

At the Medical Research Group of Central Florida, we encourage teens to quit smoking and provide them with alternative options to deal with their problem. To learn more about how we contribute to the effort to decrease teen smoking in Central Florida, visit our page at

Just for good measure, here's what we believe is quite possibly the most effective anti-smoking ad we've found on the internet: 


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