How to tell if a teenager smokes (with pictures)

How to tell if a teenager smokes (with pictures)
How to tell if a teenager smokes (with pictures)

Teenagers are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than any other group of people. 90% of smokers started smoking before the age of nineteen, which is why it is essential to pay attention to the signs of smoking to try to prevent the catastrophic side effects of this habit such as cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other heart diseases. There are several techniques for determining whether or not your teenage child smokes.


Part 1 of 3: discussing smoking with him

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 1

Step 1. Start early

Make sure you talk to your child about cigarettes long before they think about smoking. Children need to know the dangers of smoking so that they can assimilate this information and already have a negative opinion about tobacco before they are faced with their first opportunity to smoke.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 2

Step 2. Ask him questions

Be upfront with your child and ask them directly if they smoke. Tell him that you love him and understand his attraction to smoking, but don't approve of his behavior. Sometimes all it takes is a dialogue to get your child through a bad time.

If you have ever smoked, talk to your child about how difficult it was to quit and how much you regret starting to smoke

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 3

Step 3. Gather information

If your child admits to smoking, you need to gather as much information as possible. Ask him when and why he started to smoke, how much he smokes per day, if his friends smoke too, etc. This will help you understand his attraction to smoking, and you will be better equipped to help him quit or learn to say no in the future.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 4

Step 4. Keep Calm

Children usually don't respond well if you look upset in front of them. Keep calm and talk to her about smoking. Answer their questions if they have any, and let them know they can always come and talk to you if they have any further questions.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 5

Step 5. Tell him you don't agree

Even if he doesn't seem to be listening to you, your teen needs to hear that you are forbidding him to smoke. If you don't say no, he won't get advice from his parents that tells him what he's doing is wrong. He may disobey you and continue to smoke, but it is important that you continue to encourage him to stop smoking.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 6

Step 6. Clearly explain the consequences

The negative effects of smoking are real and far outweigh any benefits that they might see. Discuss with him the consequences of smoking, including the following.

  • Health Risks: There are obvious and frightening health problems inherent in smoking. Be honest with your child about the dangers of heart disease, cancer, and the statistics of smoking deaths.
  • Vanity: Touch your child's vanity by telling them about the many inconveniences that accompany smokers' lives. Smoke gives hair and clothes a bad smell, it makes teeth yellow, it causes premature wrinkles, it leaves yellow spots on the fingers, etc.
  • The financial side: smoking is expensive. Even if your child has an odd job, the financial pressure of his addiction will create more difficulties for him than he thinks. Do the math with him. Ask him how many cigarettes he smokes, how much a pack costs (or use the price of a pack per day for the average smoker) and figure out how much money he will lose per month from this bad habit. Even if he doesn't care about the consequences on his health, the cost could help him quit.

Part 2 of 3: Knowing the symptoms

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 7

Step 1. Watch for a smoker's cough

One of the most common and fastest to develop symptoms is a persistent smoker's cough. It can appear several days after you start smoking and it can even be present in occasional smokers. The cough is usually worse in the morning and lessens during the day. It is often accompanied by phlegm which can be transparent, yellow or even green.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 8

Step 2. See if he has yellow teeth

The smoke causes your teeth to turn yellow over time, which is why you need to observe your teeth to see if they are turning yellow.

Also observe a sudden interest in whitening products for the teeth, for example special toothpastes or whitening tabs

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 9

Step 3. Notice the yellow spots on his fingers

Even though the yellow stains on the teeth take a while to appear, cigarette smoke causes a yellow discoloration on the fingers and nails that is almost instantaneous.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 10

Step 4. Listen to the breathing murmurs

A murmur in the breath can be a sign of different physical problems in your child, but it can also indicate damage to the airways or lungs caused by smoking.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 11

Step 5. Look for breathing problems

You can recognize smokers by their shortness of breath. If your child can't exercise all at once for a while, or needs more time to catch his breath after physical activity, it may be because he smokes.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 12

Step 6. Observe a recurrence of respiratory illnesses

Smokers are more prone to certain respiratory illnesses such as colds, bronchitis and pneumonia. If your child gets sick more often from one of these conditions, you might wonder if they are not the result of his new addiction.

Part 3 of 3: observe other signs

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 13

Step 1. Smell his clothes

The smell of cigarettes is an odor that permeates clothing and which is difficult to get rid of. If your child has smoked, you are almost sure to notice the smell that has settled on their clothes or in their hair, especially if they have long hair.

Be aware that some adolescents try to hide the smell of cigarettes by using more perfume or cologne. You will still be able to smell the smell of cigarettes, but some of it should be obscured by the scent

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 14

Step 2. Observe the open windows in his bedroom

Teens might try to ventilate their bedroom by leaving the window open after smoking in it. Your child might just want to open the window, but notice if he insists on doing so even if the weather is not really suitable, for example if it is too hot, too cold, if it is raining, etc.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 15

Step 3. Look for signs of burns

Adolescents who smoke have less experience and have poorer hand-eye coordination than adults. They are more likely to accidentally burn things when they start to smoke. Notice the traces of burns on the carpet in his room or on his clothes. Also find traces in the car, as many teens think they can hide the smell of cigarettes more effectively in the car than in their bedrooms.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 16

Step 4. Look for matches or lighters

These small items might be difficult to find, but if your child has recently started taking some with them everywhere or buying them, it could be a sign that they are smoking. He might tell you that he only needs them to light candles, but watch how often he buys matches or lighters to find out whether he smokes or not.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 17

Step 5. Notice if his friends smoke

Teens who smoke can be very convincing, which is why other teens often give in to pressure from their friends to smoke. Teens with friends who smoke have a higher risk of starting to smoke than those who don't have friends who smoke.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 18

Step 6. Observe his use of breath fresheners

Smokers can be very self-conscious about their bad breath created by cigarette smoke. They will often try to cover it up by chewing gum or using mouthwash after smoking. If your child seems to care a lot about his breath, he may be trying to hide his cigarette smoking from you.

Know if a Teen Is Smoking Step 19

Step 7. Check how he spends his money

Smoking is an expensive habit. If you can, check their bank account online and observe frequent purchases at tobacco shops, supermarkets, or other stores selling cigarettes. If he buys it regularly, there will be traces of it in his bank account.


  • You must observe the situation carefully before accusing him of smoking. You need to be sure of yourself before you act.
  • If he's over eighteen, you can't force him to quit smoking.
  • Talk to him about the consequences of smoking.

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