Youth Smoking Prevention | Start Talking Before Your Kids Start Smoking
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Youth Smoking Prevention

Can Smoking Cause Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer

Various studies have been done and are still being done regarding the direct effect of smoking, first-hand or second-hand, to breast cancer. Early studies first didn’t show any correlation but recent researches seem to point out that smoking can be a contributing factor to breast cancer.

Smoke from cigarette is a powerful carcinogen and can lower levels of oestrogen. Since oestrogen is found to be a contributing factor to breast cancer, earlier researches have maintained that smoking is not a risk to breast cancer. Recent studies, however, seem to be stating the opposite. A link has been found between smoking and breast cancer through the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as other chemicals which are said to cause mammary tumours among animals.

Women who have been smoking for a long time, especially those who have been in the habit way before giving birth to their first child, are found to have an increased risk to the disease. Heavy smokers, particularly those who smoked for at least a pack of cigarettes a day for a span of 30 years, have 28 percent risk of acquiring breast cancer.

A Harvard Medical School associate professor of cancer epidemiology and ob-gyn conducted a study and found that though smoking is not on the top of the list of important breast cancer risk factors, heavy-duty smokers have to be given closer attention. Those who have been smoking for a longer period of time and in a more frequent manner have to take caution.

At the top of the risk factor list are those that are related to hormonal change and imbalance. There are other aspects that can cause the occurrence or the aggravation of breast cancer like genes, dense breast tissue, menstrual cycles, contraceptives, alcohol, and obesity, among other things.

However, smoking, per se, is dangerous to one’s health. If it cannot directly instigate breast cancer, it will lead to other diseases, such as lung cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, cough, wheezing and colds. It is still best to avoid any of these diseases – breast cancer or otherwise – by totally giving up tobacco system and clear one’s body of the damaging chemicals it generate.


Kids Smoking, Is It Getting More Common?

Stop kids from smoking

This is a really difficult question to answer, but is definitely worth discussing. Sometimes it seems like the issue of kids smoking from an earlier age is getting far worse. And it is certainly worse than when I was in high school about 15 years ago. A couple of kids got caught smoking and they were suspended from school for days. It seemed that only a very few actually smoked in my high school. Now kids are getting caught smoking at school every day and are basically just asked to put the cigarette out and throw it out. Now more suspension from school, no more getting in major trouble. It is almost now just accepted but frowned upon. I think that this is not good enough.

So things are a lot worse than back then, but how have they been in the last few years? Over the last few years the numbers of kids smoking has been relatively stable and there have been many downward trends but when new products such as the e-cigarette comes out, everyone seems to want to try these including kids. Then we go back to the start. Perhaps kids need to keep busier without anxiety which may make them want a cigarette.

I am an outdoor person who plays a lot of sport, and I see during junior cricket matches, kids smoking in the outfield between overs. Even on the golf course just before lining up for a shot, a quick smoke then play the golf shot. Kids should be focusing on other things such as sport, working out, keeping fit, and getting outside and just enjoy being outside. What is happening to today’s youth? I guess that we are to blame when in so many countries, people are still allowed to smoke on restaurant patios and in crowded public areas.

I believe that there needs to be a greater penalty for shop keepers selling cigarettes to minors and also to those who buy cigarettes for minors. This along with further education in schools and by parents should also help this issue.


Does Smoking Really Stunt Your Growth?


We all know about the various health problems and threats that smoking poses, and yet many of us continue to smoke regardless of this – and even continue to smoke under age. The vast range of illnesses and diseases caused by smoking, as well as the detriment to physical fitness, do not seem to be enough to put people off, but some of the issues of vanity that effect teenagers may sometimes be more off putting.

This is why it’s not uncommon to find on Yahoo Answers or web forums teenagers asking whether smoking will stunt their growth. The lung cancer it seems is not enough of a concern – but if you’re not going to be as tall as your friends, well that’s a different matter.

How Smoking Stunts Growth

Unfortunately for these smoking teens, the answer is yes – smoking can stunt your growth. It can also result in the slow healing of wounds, lack of muscle and other problems associated with poor anabolism and lack of tissue building and repairing.

Smoking will not affect the pituitary glands which produce the hormones necessary for growth, but however it does result in an increase in carbon monoxide in the blood. This then in turn means that the blood has a lower concentration of oxygen and of the other things that it needs to build and repair tissue such as minerals and vitamins. What this then means is that when an area needs protein or other nutrients to grow, it will not be supplied with them as quickly or in such high quantities and quality. This may then mean that that function of the body is not carried out at all, or just that it is not carried out well.

At the same time smoking may result in lower amounts of testosterone – the hormone involved in building muscle, growing hair, and burning fat. This hormone is also involved in growth as it is an anabolic hormone that tells the body when to build tissue.

Who’s at Risk?

This effect is relatively minor, and you will probably not notice extremely stunted growth – you’ll just not be growing quite as healthily or as effectively as you otherwise would have been. It probably won’t cause a problem for second hand smokers as they won’t inhale enough to significantly alter their balance of oxygen and carbon monoxide. At the same time stunted growth is of course only an issue for those still growing – whose growth plates in their wrists and ankles are still open so that the bones can increase in length. Pregnant mothers though certainly should not smoke as it is highly important that their blood provide a developing child with all the nutrients it needs to survive and prosper.

That said, anyone who smokes should have more than enough reason to quit and in reality some loss of height is really the least of your worries.


Smoking Can Cause Stretch Marks


Stretch marks affect so many people and contrary to what some believe, teenagers and sometimes even younger kids can get stretch marks. Even though teenagers think that they are invincible they are actually one of the more common groups of people to get stretch marks. Also, it’s not just woman that get stretch marks, men can get stretch marks too. However, it is usually woman who get stretch marks often from pregnancy or the other common reason, weight loss. Around 90% of women will get some sort of stretch marks from pregnancy usually around the abdominal area. But stretch marks can often be caused by puberty, as we grow rapidly. Stretch marks can develop on most areas of the body but the most common are the lower back, stomach, breasts, thighs, or upper arms.

Stretch marks are caused by the tearing of the dermis in the skin. The dermis is the middle layer of skin which helps skin keep it shape and elasticity.

But can smoking cause stretch marks? Well smoking can actually cause your skin to lose some of its elasticity which means that it can be much more susceptible to stretch marks. So it basically weakens the dermis. So if our kids are smoking during puberty, this could increase the chance of them getting stretch marks. But there is some good news, there are treatments available for stretch marks however are generally quite expensive. The cheapest are the home remedies, then the creams, and finally, surgery which is by far the most expensive option. So if you or your kids are suffering from stretch marks, do your research and use the solution that best fits your position. Also, perhaps use this topic as another reason why kids shouldn’t even start smoking in the first place.


8 Side Effects You Need To Prepare For When Your Teen Quits Smoking

No smoking

If your child was unfortunate enough to start smoking in the first place, the best thing for them to do is quit. The sooner the better. But there may be a few issues with this as the body has already become acclimatised to the effects of smoking. The longer your teenager has smoked for and the heavier may result in these side effects being magnified. Here are some common side effects that you and your child will have to deal with after quitting.

Nicotine Withdrawals

After about 3 days of not smoking, this is peak nicotine withdrawal time. Symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tension
  • Frustration
  • Increased appetite

After about two weeks, withdrawal symptoms ease and even with the heaviest of smokers, withdrawal symptoms ease within a few months.

Putting on Weight

This is one of the major ones, especially for females. Often they would rather smoke and stay thin than kick the habit and put on any weight. When teenagers quit smoking they may end up putting on weight. They eat food to fill some of the cravings and eat a lot more than usual. We need to help our kids by making sure they have healthy and filling food available. Options include a weight loss shake while the teenager eats out of home. Weight loss shakes are also good for trying to lose a bit of weight. But when your teenager is at home, try to prepare healthy and home cooked meals. These options are far better than fast food.




Healthy Foods for Snacking While you are Quitting Smoking

Healthy snack

Often when people quit smoking they find their taste buds come back, food will taste like you had forgotten it once tasted and so you’ll start to enjoy food in a new way. During this time, food can help you:

  • Feel full, which can help reduce urges to smoke.
  • Replace the need for having a cigarette in your mouth by having something to chew and hold in your mouth.
  • Satisfy cravings with different flavors that are also healthy instead of having a cigarette.

Some people also however start to experience more food cravings and choosing healthy snacks during this time period can stop unwanted weight gain during an already stressful time period. So here are some healthy snack food ideas to get you through. Make sure you have them available and remove unhealthy ones from your house so you always have something to grab that will improve your health. Add them to your shopping list and stock up every week.

  • Easy to grab Fruit such as apple, banana, peach, or grapes
  • Greek Yogurt -try a small tub of greek yogurt with some fruit or honey or just plain. Try and stay away from a flavored option generally full of added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Nuts and seeds such as peanuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds- Try to stick to a handful as they are high in calories however studies have shown that a limited portion of nuts each day actually assisted weight loss.
  • Peanut or Almond Nut Butter on Celery, Apple or Rice-cake – nut butters taste great and are a great high protein snack option.
  • Homemade Protein Bars – My favorite, homemade protein bars taste awesome but are full of real wholefoods that give you energy and protein that keeps you full all day. Check out some awesome protein bar recipes to get started making your own.
  • Make a whole bunch and freeze them so they are available when that craving strikes
  • Dates – I love dates for satisfying the sugar cravings without throwing off your whole day.
  • A smoothie or protein shake is a great idea to keep you full and add heaps of super nutrients into your diet.