Smoking and Its Negative Impact on Developing Teen Brains
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Smoking and Its Negative Impact on Developing Teen Brains

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Teenage smoking results in serious harmful effects that persist throughout the life of an individual. In addition to damaging various vital systems like cardiac and respiratory systems, smoking severely impacts the functioning of a teen’s brain. In this article, we will discuss on how smoking affects the developing brains of teens.

Statistics of teen smoking:
Teens being enthusiastic to try every new thing, take up unhealthy habits such as smoking, drug abuse, etc. Among the various unhealthy habits, smoking is found to be highly common among teens. The number of regular teenage smokers is alarming. As per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 34.2 percent of teens between 12 and 17 years of age resorted to smoking in 2010.

Smoking affects developing areas of brain:
Teenage smoking affects the developing areas of brain. At this age, certain areas of brain are still in the developmental process and the development gets affected upon smoking. This results in rise of mental health issues such as poor decision-making skills, immature cognitive control and so on. Adolescent young adults who are habituated to smoking often tend to take irrational decisions and behave immaturely.

Nicotine alters brain chemistry:
Nicotine, the main component of tobacco, is very addictive. It alters the brain chemistry by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters. Dopamine, a specific neurotransmitter, plays a key role in addiction. Its release provides a sense of pleasure. Exposure to nicotine initially increases dopamine release, making the smoker enjoy the sense of relaxation. However, its activity subsequently decreases making the individual crave for more cigarettes. Apart from these, several other neurological changes which are permanent and difficult to treat are also obvious due to smoking.

Increases stress and anxiety:
Though smoking initially induces a feeling of pleasure, it increases stress and anxiety with time. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have higher levels of stress in life. It is, therefore, necessary to help your teens quit smoking to avoid further health issues that can arise from stress and anxiety.

Increases the chances of addiction:
As discussed earlier, smoking alters the brain chemistry and increases the chances of addiction. Also, as teenagers feel more stressed (due to their transition from childhood to adulthood), they continue to use cigarettes to get away from it, which makes them habituated and addicted to nicotine. Peer pressure is the other common and most important cause of addiction to smoking among teens.

Leads to substance abuse in later life:
Several studies have already proved that teenage smoking leads to substance abuse in later life. The above mentioned issues like neurological (brain) changes and higher stress make teens vulnerable to alcohol and drug abuse. Substance abuse along with smoking, however, results in more alarming health effects, and in some cases leads to death.

Now that you are aware of the severe effects of smoking on teen brains, it is necessary to keep an eye on their smoking behavior. Early intervention avoids these problems and allows your teens to enjoy a peaceful and healthy life. You can take help of nicotine testing kits to check if they are smoking. These test kits are easily available online and you can conduct these tests at the comfort of your home.

Drug Test Strips - About the Author:

Drug Test Strips is an online store offering reliable, easy to use and FDA approved drug test kits at affordable prices. Our marijuana drug testing strip is a rapid urine screening test that can be performed without the use of an instrument. Our nicotine testing kit is a device used for the detection of cotinine in human urine.

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