DISCLAIMER: I do not condone underage smoking in any way and many of the statements made in this article are my own experiences and opinions of how I felt at the time that it happened.
“Cross my heart and hope to die, burn my lungs and curse my eyes, I’ve lost control…” -Nicotine by Panic! At The Disco.
In my opinion these lyrics perfectly describe the feeling of smoking and realising you’ve become addicted. According to research conducted by Cancer Research UK, over 205,000 teens start smoking each year and almost one in five 11-15 year olds have admitted to smoking at least once while 8 percent of 15 year olds reported smoking regularly, with 74% of those saying they would find it difficult to give up smoking. This number clearly shows that this is a habit that can easily spiral out of control, as I soon found out when I was smoking on a regular basis.
I started smoking when I was 11 due to the stress of school after my sister accidentally dropped one without realising, I absolutely despised the taste but I liked the way it made me feel, so I started having the occasional cigarette when I was really stressed. Soon, that turned into one per week, then once per day, then, eventually, a pack a day. I eventually started to like the taste so I didn’t really think much of it and had a cigarette whenever I got the chance. After my dad passed away my addiction got worse, I went through 10 packs in three days and I was so unhappy, I knew I had to break the cycle somehow, I just wasn’t sure how to go about it, so I didn’t bother and went back to a pack per day. Towards the end of last year, I started noticing a few things, I was getting breathless so much quicker than before, my asthma was starting to get a lot worse, I had flare ups a lot more often and I was generally more irritable if I didn’t have a cigarette for too long. It was at that point I realised I had to quit smoking, It was not only affecting my physical health, but also my mental health. Six months on, I’m completely clean and I’ll never go back, I made a few slip ups but I got there and I’m happier for it. For those of you who are struggling with a nicotine addiction, here are my tips to help you to work through it and quit.
I hope my tips help and you manage to achieve your goal of quitting, and I hope that you start to feel the benefits of quitting just as I did, good luck and don’t give up! I know you can do it and I believe in you!
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.