Youth Smoking & Drinking

October 2, 2013
Youths often follow the lead of parents or older siblings. If kids see their parents or older siblings avoid smoking, there is less of a chance they will smoke. Those who grow up around the smell and sight of cigarettes are more likely to start buying packs.
Drinking is a major problem among youths.Drinking has short- and long-term effects on youths. While drinking, youths can be more at risk for unplanned or unprotected sex, which can result in unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Physical and sexual assault are also a danger.
Hangovers and short-term memory loss are among the short-term physical effects, while changes in brain development and sexual development can hurt in the long run. Social problems such as falling grades and failure in extra-curricular activities are common consequences of underage drinking.
After developing the habit, quitting drinking or smoking can be difficult. The first step is to talk to a trusted adult--a parent, coach, aunt, uncle or doctors. Drug and alcohol counseling is also available, and fully confidential in some states. Getting involved in sports or extra-curricular activities are good ways to stay away from drinking and smoking, and a good reason to give if friends are applying peer pressure.

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