Welcome to Quit4Life Teens! This is an area just for young people who live in Hampshire and want some advice on smoking. Is this you? If so, take a look around and we can try and answer some of your questions.
You might use the information on our site to try quitting on your own, or if it gets really tough, we can help you.
Why not download your free smoke-free plan?
Get your plan together
Although you are likely to be addicted to nicotine, there’s lots of other things that make you smoke when you are young. Is there a friend that you always find you smoke with? Do you smoke when you are stressed? Get yourself a plan together to quit here.
Vaping is safer than smoking
It’s best not to do either, but it would be better to vape than to smoke. There are far less nasty chemicals in vapes than in cigarettes. But be careful. They need the right charger and if you make any changes to them (modify them) it makes them more likely to catch fire. The law says that vapes should not be sold to people under 18, so Quit4Life are unable to give you a voucher through their vape scheme.
I’m only a social smoker.
No one ever went from being a non-smoker to suddenly smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Just having the odd cigarette here and there, is a sure way to graduate to becoming a regular smoker. Every cigarette you have increases your level of addiction to nicotine.
Most of my mates smoke
It can seem almost impossible to quit when all your mates smoke. For lots of teens, smoking can seem like part of your identity or personality. When you are with other smokers it can seem easier to talk to people and be part of a group. But saying no to smoking can make you look more confident, stronger and independent. It’s a big step. Try it just once, to begin with. Next time you are out with your friends who smoke, say ‘no thanks’. You’ll be surprised how easy it is. Thinking about what you are going to say in advance will really help.
Help - I need some motivation
That’s understandable. There’s loads of benefits to quitting when you are young.
That nice new jumper you have won’t stink
You won’t have to worry that your breath smells
You’ll be quicker and faster at sports as you have loads more oxygen in your body
You’ll be more attractive. Smoking can look pretty gross
Your skin will be happy. Smoking can make teenage acne worse
You will have loads more money
You won’t have to keep hiding the smoking evidence from your family
Respect! Quitting smoking can be tough. You can be proud.
Your day as a smoker can be pretty grim. Check out a day in the life of a smoker!
My parents don’t know I smoke. Will you tell them?
No. We won’t tell your parents that you smoke, but you might want to think about telling them yourself. Parents can be surprising. If you have their support it will be easier and they will probably be pleased that you’ve taken steps to quit. If we give you any thing like patches or gum, we do need to tell your doctor in a letter, but they won’t tell your parents either.
Can I use patches and gum?
Yes, you can use nicotine replacement therapy, like patches and gum. You’ll be more likely to quit smoking if you use them properly and with someone helping you. You need to be over 12, but there’s usually no problem. If you get them from Quit4Life, you won’t have to pay for them either.
Do I need to go to a group?
No. There’s lots of ways for teens to get help. You can have an appointment on your own with an adviser. There might be other people waiting to see the adviser, but 100% no groups. If you’re not sure about seeing someone, we can arrange to give you some help over the phone too.
Am I unusual in needing help to quit?
No, not at all. Stopping smoking is hard whatever age you are. When you are young you might not even be feeling like it is doing you any harm, so finding reasons to stop can be even more difficult. It is totally normal to need some support and encouragement to stop. Quit4life help lots of young people to stop smoking.
Is the damage already done?
If you’ve only been smoking a few years, your body will probably make a full recovery. If you stop now the chances are you’ll be absolutely fine. You’ll look back when you are older and realise stopping was the best thing you ever did. The longer you smoke the greater the risks.
I’m nervous about getting support. What can you do to help?
We understand that it is a big step to get help and want to make it as easy as possible. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member for support if it helps. If you don’t want to see us face-to-face, we can support you by phone. We are friendly and are happy to contact you in a way that you feel comfortable with.
I don’t’ smoke but worried about a loved one.
When someone you care about smokes it’s tough to watch them put their health at risk. But the way you discuss it with them can really make a difference. You can help them. Try hard not to judge them or tell them to stop as pressure can sometimes make them smoke more. Find out more about the reasons that they smoke. It’s ok to tell them you are worried about them. Perhaps there’s something you can do to help them stop?
But try not to lose sleep over it. Most smokers eventually find they want to stop on their own and you can be there to support them when they do.
I’m young, pregnant and smoke!
Quitting smoking when you are pregnant is even more important. It can help keep your baby safe and give them the best start in life. For more information about how smoking affects you and baby, check out our pregnancy blog.
Quit4Life can work with other professionals that are supporting your pregnancy and you can still use nicotine replacement, such as patches and gum. We won’t judge you for smoking when you are pregnant, we just want to help. You can call us directly, or you can ask your midwife, family nurse or other professional to refer you.
OK so I am ready for some help. What next?
If you are ready to get some help, you can call our office team on 01252 335120 and tell them that you are a young person who wants some help to quit. They’ll get some details from you; name, address – that type of thing. They’ll find you an appointment to suit you with an adviser. They’ll explain everything about where to go and what to expect.
If you’re worried about speaking to someone in person, email us at email@example.com. Tell us that you are a teen and someone will email you back. We can take it from there.
Other stuff about your health worrying you?
If there’s something else worrying you about your health or well-being. You can text 07507 332160 to get support from a school nurse about things like:
- My Body
It’s free and confidential. If you text out of office hours, you’ll get a message back when they open.
With thanks to:
Bayhouse School, Gosport – especially Matt Web and Amy Atherton