Over 200,000 young people (aged under 18) start smoking in the UK each year. Thats more than 23 each hour in any 24 hour period; a total of over 560 each day, nearly 4000 a week.
Around half of these will go on to smoke in the longer term, and half of all long term smokers will die because of their smoking habits. Smoked tobacco is the only product that can be bought legally that if used as instructed will cause the death of half of all users.
Nearly all adult smokers started smoking in their teenage years. The younger you are when you start, the more impact smoking has on your life long health and wellbeing. The earlier children and young people become smokers, the higher the risk of adult heart or lung disease in later life becomes (BMA 2007). Young people are also susceptible whilst smoking - those who smoke are more likely (2-6 times) to suffer from respiratory problems (coughs, wheeziness etc) (RCP 1992; RCP 2010).
Most young people know its addictive, and they feel it - in the last English national school based survey, 46% of young people who have smoked for under one year stated that they would find it difficult to stop for one week. For those young people who had smoked over one year, this rose to 82% (NHS IC 2013). Studies show that young smokers show signs of addiction within 4 weeks of starting to smoke (even if you only smoke occasionally).
Young people who smoke and who have times where they don't smoke, without support, have been shown to experience withdrawal symptoms and desires/urges to smoke similar to those experienced by adults.
So - we know that most young smokers want to stop, most of them know they are addicted and that it could be hard to stop.
Did you know that with our service you can have free confidential, friendly, non-judgemental, and knowledgeable support, including medicines, and we can really help you to stop now.