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Teens avoid smoking habit

Smoking drop: Reports have recorded about a 70 per cent drop in teenagers smoking over the past 20 years. Picture: Anna WarrTeenagers are choosing to shun the once popular habit of smoking.

A recent report, Factors Influencing Reductions in Smoking Among Australians Adolescents, found that smoking amongst 12 to 17 year olds haddroppedfrom 23.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent overthe past 20 years.

Elderslie High School studentDeni Hoxha said teenagers had gradually shifted from celebratingsmoking to avoiding the habit.

“Smokingisn’t the most positive activity for a young person to take up,” he said.

“Generally smoking is largely isolated and isn’t the most social activity a person could be engaging in.”

The NSW South Western Sydney Local Health District health snapshot for 2015 found that nine out of 10 households are smoke free.

Senior health promotion officer Natasha McEwan said the decrease in young people smoking, and in homes, showed people are more alert to the dangers of the activity.

“If you are taking smoking young, you are exposing yourself to serious health issues early on in life,” she said.

“The reduction in smoking figures is demonstrating our comprehensive Australian approach to tobacco control is working.”

Antonio Marcora, also a student atElderslie High School,said education had helped young people become more aware of the health risks involved in taking up smoking.

“Teachers have taught us the physical abilities you have can be affected by smoking.Basic tasks like runningbecomeharder,” he said.

Fellow student Anneliese Munrosaid media campaigns helped educate her and her friends aboutthe negative aspects of smoking.

“Media outlets playadvertisements thatshow what will happen to people when they smoke and this deters people from it,” she said.

The three students believe young people thinking about smoking shouldpursue safer and more socialactivities.

“Sport as great for your body and your social life as well,” Anneliese said.

“I have a passion for baking so I think people should pursue a hobby instead of having a cigarette in their mouth,” Antonio added.

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