Youth smoking is initiated and formed mainly during adolescence. In 2020, 85% of high school students and 74% of middle school students have used tobacco products in the past 30 days. There are many reasons why smoking behavior starts and develops early, but one of the main reasons that parents should know is that children are very easily influenced by what they see on social networks. This age is very susceptible to influence and peer pressure.
The article below will help you understand more about how does the media influence smoking in teen, as well as the connection between social media and tobacco use among children, so you can understand these effects and take better measures to protect your child.
How does the media influence smoking in teens?
Celebrities, influential people (KOLs)
Celebrities and KOLs are a part of the answer for how does social media affect smoking. Sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat provide an environment where children are exposed to celebrities and influencers who engage in alcohol and drug use-related behaviors. For example, celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Drake, and Cardi B constantly post pictures and videos of themselves drinking and enjoying it.
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Celebrities and influencers promote tobacco, alcohol, and drug use on social media sites, making smoking and drinking seem like “cool” activities. Also included are images of heavy users who attend parties, clubs and bars, responding to their drunks and highs as part of their cool, luxurious and glamorous lifestyle.
Sadly, these contents receive a lot of attention from young people. As you already know, with the social network’s algorithm, content that gets the most attention is more likely to be shown first, and your kids are more likely to reach it.
Source: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images
Unfortunately, the early stages of addiction are the ones where a person is most strongly influenced by their environment. Teens and young adults consume and share digital media at an astonishing rate, making any positive depiction of substance abuse now more damaging than ever, pushing tobacco use among teens.
Pressure from friends (Peer Pressure)
Your child is exposed not only to celebrities and influencers but also to their friends. Research shows that young people are more likely to use tobacco products if they see people their age using these products.
When your child is regularly exposed to this type of content, they become normalized in your child’s eyes and a must-have in life experience. As a result, illegal smoking, drug use, ecstasy, heroin, etc., as well as binge drinking lead adolescents to mistakenly believe that it is appropriate to do so.
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In 2020, nearly 3 out of 100 middle school students (2.8%) and about 8 out of 100 high school students (8.2%) reported currently using two or more tobacco products in the past year. the past 30 days.
Most of these teenagers said they were “invited” by their peers to try it out. When they see all of their friends trying and liking cigarettes, at this point in their minds, smoking is part of the normal and rewarding teenage experience.
In addition, your child’s smoking is also partly due to a desire to be accepted and included. When their best friend invites them to smoke, drink, or use drugs, a high percentage of them will say yes. Besides, because of curiosity, they turn to drugs or alcohol just to know what it’s like to be drunk or high.
- Poorer socioeconomic status, including lower-income or education
- Not knowing how to say “no” to using tobacco products
- Lack of parental support or involvement
- Access, availability, and prices of tobacco products sản
- Low academic performance
- Low self-esteem
- Regularly view tobacco product advertisements in stores, on television, the Internet, and on social media.
What can parents do to prevent tobacco use among teens?
- Discuss the topic of stimulants and drugs earlier:
Early tobacco use in adolescents can lead to long-term consequences. Your child rarely thinks they’ll have problems with substance use and drugs like tobacco, so it’s important to start intimate conversations with your child about stimulants, drugs sooner and continue to discuss and remind your child over time.
- Make it clear what your child sees in movies and social media is just the tip of the iceberg:
Although popular media such as the Internet or social media and TV shows can glorify smoking as well as drug and alcohol abuse, it does not address the unchanging harms which affect the quality of life of your child and the people around him. Remember to make that point clear!
- Have a close and trusting relationship with your child from an early age
Develop a close and trusting relationship with your child from an early age by encouraging positive behaviors in life such as healthy eating, exercising, playing sports, joining soft skill clubs.
Besides, your child’s knowledge and information about tobacco can be completely accessed at school in theoretical form, but they are often inherently dry, so as a friend, give I see friendliness. Build an intimate sharing environment between children and parents, talk to your child about marijuana like two friends, children are both more receptive and trusting in you.
- Use the online content filter on the Internet:
There is no 100% guarantee that your child will never smoke. That’s why it’s a good idea to combine a variety of approaches to minimize your child’s exposure to drugs and stimulants, such as using an online content filtering tool to notify you if your child finds the search for information about drugs, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, etc. to promptly talk to your child and solve the problem in the most gentle way.
- Some other ways:
-Be a role model for your children, such as not smoking and not using illegal drugs.
-Encourage your child to have more than one group of friends and you have to know who they are and what they are like.
-Practice your child in taking responsibility and developing good decision-making skills at a young age
-Self-update information on addictive substances and stimulants to educate and openly discuss with their teens the harmful effects of smoking. Do not overstate or fabricate information about tobacco.
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