The legal age for smoking in the UK is over 16, however according to Cancer Research UK, 18% of under 16's attempt to smoke at least once and 3% are active smokers.
I am part of the 3% that started before I was 16, but I realised what a bad habit this was and had managed to quit. The word ‘had’ is used in past tense due to traumatic experiences and mental illnesses being my addiction back to the present.
I started smoking when I was 13. The smoking began due to the passing of my grandparent which made me feel depressed and overly stressed, and I’d heard that nicotine was a good stress reliever. After trying it once I felt some sort of relief from my problems and so my addiction grew more and more, until the age of 15 when I decided to stop because of the effects it was having on my insides. One cigarette contains ammonia which has an effect on your entire body especially your lungs.
I still know today that smoking is a nasty habit. However after something life threatening happened to me almost 10 months ago, I picked the addiction back up again a year after quitting due to the trauma and thoughts that constantly drove through my head. I needed a relief and smoking so happened the relief I needed.
Cigarettes taste horrible, they make you feel claustrophobic and I don’t condone it in any way. However to me it helps me to focus and helps me to get my thoughts into gear. To this day, I smoke on average on cigarette per month which is better than what it used to be.
For you however, there are so many alternatives to smoking that are healthier for you. Smoking not only affects your insides but they make you smell badly and make your fingernails and teeth turn discoloured. So here is a list of 15 alternatives that relieve stress and don’t have a nasty effect on tour body:
1.) Playing with pets
2.) Reading a book
3.) Watching a movie
6.) Writing thoughts
8.) Going for a walk/jog
9.) Making posters
10.) Listen to music
11.) Watch YouTube
13.) Play video games
14.) Practice your makeup
15.) Talk to friends or family
There are tons and tons of things you can do instead and I highly recommend them. I wish I didn’t start smoking, and I wouldn’t say that I’m addicted, however it is something that I naturally feel will help me and even though it doesn’t in any way, shape or form I have made myself think this way. Please take my advice as a 17 year old who started smoking 4 years ago, and believe me when I say that it isn’t worth it.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.