Most of the risk of dying prematurely due to smoking is reversed if people quit smoking before the age of 30. However smoking during childhood and adolescence also causes a range of immediate health problems, as well as laying the foundation for the development of serious disease in adulthood. Teenagers and young adults have their whole lives to look forward to, the issue, however, is that many individuals around this age end up starting a habit that should have never been started. Yes, everyone has a choice, but there is such a thing as making the wrong choice. Smoking is the wrong choice, and there are numerous reasons why.
Smoking affects the health of everyone involved, even those standing close by. However, it affects young adults and teens more profoundly in many ways.
The negative effects of smoking include:–
Exacerbation of asthma:
Active smoking is associated with an increased risk for developing asthma and for exacerbating existing asthma in adolescents. Smoking also causes wheezing severe enough to be diagnosed as asthma in children and adolescents. Surveys among adolescent smokers (12–14 year olds) have found active smoking to be associated with asthmatic attacks/wheezing and rhinitis, particularly in girls, and with asthma-related wheezing symptoms in 15–16 year old adolescents.
Active smoking causes respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, phlegm production and wheezing in children and adolescents. Even occasional smoking (on at least 5 days in 30 days) has been found to be associated with shortness of breath/fatigue following regular activity in 18–24 year old college students, while regular smokers among this group were more likely than non-smokers to report having any cough or sore throat in the past 30 days. The prevalence of self-reported bronchitis symptoms (chronic cough and sputum production) among a cohort of 18–21 year old Finnish males was significantly higher among daily smokers than occasional smokers, and symptoms were significantly associated with smoking history.
Cigarette smoking during adolescence and young adulthood begins the damaging processes that lead to cardiovascular disease. Damage to the circulatory system becomes evident in young smokers, and may become clinically significant in early adulthood. There is robust evidence demonstrating that smoking during adolescence and young adulthood increases the development of atherosclerosis. By early middle age, the more rapid progression of atherosclerosis and the rapid decline of lung function mentioned above lead to higher rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, and COPD. This disease plays a major role in the premature mortality of middle-aged and elderly smokers. Smoking increases cardiovascular risk in young women and removes the protective effect of the premenopausal state; this is possibly caused by smoking disrupting the normal ovarian pattern of sympathetic nervous system activity.
Poor general health status :
According to the World Health Organization, early signs of heart disease and stroke are detected in young people who smoke. Young smokers are more likely to report suffering an overall diminished level of health compared with non-smokers. Recurrent headache has been associated with current smoking (daily and occasional) in Norwegian students aged 13–18 years, while among US students (grades 6 to 10), adolescent daily and experimental smokers were more likely than never smokers to report recurrent subjective health complaints such as headache and backache. Among a cohort of young US Navy recruits (average age 19.7 years at baseline), cigarette smoking was a prospective predictor of hospitalization: data for more than 5000 young healthy female recruits from entry into the Navy for up to 7–8 years of service indicated that daily smokers had higher rates of hospitalization for any reason and for musculoskeletal conditions. Daily smokers were also hospitalized for a significantly greater mean number of days compared with never smokers and other smokers (including experimental, occasional and former smokers), following adjustment for differences in time in service and socio-demographic variables. On average, someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day lives seven yearsless than someone who has never smoked cigarettes.
Active smoking causes impaired lung growth during childhood and adolescence, and the early onset of lung function decline during late adolescence and early adulthood. Young smokers’ lungs stop growing earlier, they attain lower maximal lung function, they have a briefer plateau phase, and their lung function declines earlier. This reduced lung growth can increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease later in life. Early quitting may therefore be particularly beneficial, to potentially avoid these effects on growing lung.
Dental health problems:
Smoking is also a major risk factor for poor periodontal health and dental cavity diseases; about half of the periodontitis seen in those aged under 30 is thought to be linked to smoking. Daily smoking and infrequent tooth brushing (less than twice a day) among 14–18 year old Finnish adolescents have been found to be strongly associated. There is also evidence to suggest that among young males (20–25 years old), even moderate smoking of 10 cigarettes per day induces variations of salivary lipid pattern. The regulation of salivary lipid levels is important in the maintenance of oral cavity health: elevated lipid levels are associated with an increase of caries incidence, plaque development, calculus formation and periodontal disease.
While considerable evidence associates tobacco use with low bone mass and increased fracture risk in older people, research has emerged more recently linking smoking at a young age with unfavorable bone geometry and density, reduction in peak bone mass and increased fracture prevalence. A cross-sectional population-based study among 677 healthy male Belgian siblings at the age of peak bone mass (aged 25–45 years, mean age 33.4–35.7 years) found that those who took up smoking at an early age (16 years old or younger) had lower areal bone mineral density (aBMD), lower cortical bone area at the tibia and lowertrabecular and cortical bone density at the radius compared with current and never smokers. There were significant negative associations between number of pack-years smoked and lumbar spine, hip and total body a BMD, as well as total body bone mineral content. In addition, self-reported fractures were significantly more prevalent in early and current smokers, after adjustment for age, weight, education and alcohol use, and exclusion of childhood fractures. It has been suggested this may be caused by smoking disrupting the acquisition of peak bone mass during puberty,possibly due to an interaction with sex steroid action.