Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Drugs:
“I'm getting addicted to cigarettes.”

Hey Terra,

I have started to smoke and I'm not proud of it at all. And if my boyfriend finds out he will ignore me for days and for him I really want to quit but I'm getting addicted to it now. Have you got any suggestions for me to quit?

Young Smoker

Dear Young Smoker,

I'm glad to hear that you want to quit smoking. I just found out that a dear friend of mine (a woman who started smoking when she was a teen) has lung cancer and that is not a pleasant thing for any one to have in their future. I don't want that to happen to you!

Here are a couple of things you ought to know:

1. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs there is. That means that for many smokers who try to quit on their own (without outside help and support) it is VERY difficult to become a non-smoker. For some percentage of people though, especially if they are not long term smokers, they can make the decision to stop smoking and quit, on their own, very successfully.

2. If you choose to quit smoking you have to do it for YOU. It doesn't work to do it "for him" or anyone else. Your health and your future is the #1 reason to quit.

3. Try stopping, completely, on your own... TODAY! You may be able to turn your back on cigarettes and never look back. Or, you may need help to quit. If you need help, there's plenty of it around. I suggest that you talk to your counselor at school, your family doctor, or your County Department of Health. Every state (and many counties) have a Teen Smoking Cessation Program which is FREE! It will help you educate yourself about the dangers of this addiction and give you the support you need to quit.

Check out this website of the American Lung Associations N-O-T (Not on Tobacco) program:
www.lungusa.org/school/not_teens.html
I hope this helps.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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