Fight against smoking should start in primary school

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Cigarette addicts continue their filthy habit with many excuses even when they know the problems smoking causes. The fact that children start smoking at a much younger age in Turkey compared to developed countries points to a significant threat. Many children and young adults are drawn to smoking because they are concerned about their image and want prove that they are growing up. However, it is also important to announce the harmful effects of cigarettes to wider populations and offer psychological support in case of an addiction. Clinical Psychologist Gizem Mine Çölümlü gave information about smoking addiction as well as the underlying causes for "World Smoking Boycott Day," which is celebrated today.

Fastest-spreading, longest-running epidemic

Referred to as "the world's fastest-spreading and longest-running epidemic" by the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking has become an important public health problem around the world. Cigarette addiction is defined as a consistency to continue smoking, increasing the amount of cigarettes, experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon quitting and unsuccessful smoking cessation attempts.

Smoking age falls to 10 in Turkey

Cigarette addiction is also called nicotine addiction because of an addictive substance called nicotine that is found in cigarettes. In addition to the physical effects of nicotine related to smoking, psychological and behavioral aspects develop over time. The physical, mental and behavioral factors are in interaction with each other, and when these factors are not sufficiently examined, a person may easily easily start smoking again. Nicotine addiction may occur frequently due to social, economic and sociocultural factors, and children as young as 10 and 11 are starting to smoke in Turkey.

Why do children and adolescents start smoking?

- Low self-esteem and problems related to school

- Peer influence

- Parents or grandparents who smoke

- Concern about being part of a group,

- Seeing it as a symbol of growth

- Image concern

- Perceiving oneself as worthless

Besides these reasons, factors such as an environment that encourages smoking, being tempted by their surroundings and wanting to adapt are among the causes of smoking in this age group. Children smoking from an early age is the most important risk factor for smoking in adulthood, and it is stated that the rate of smoking and addiction is lower as one gets away from tempting circumstances.

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