How to Get Your Teen to Stop Smoking

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Getting a teen to stop smoking is a process of assessing their thinking patterns and behavioral triggers, and teaching them problem solving and lifestyle balance skills is important to help them quit. Help a teen quit smoking with information from a licensed mental health counselor in this free video on mental health conditions.

Part of the Video Series: Mental Health & Behavior
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Video Transcript

I'm Dr. David Thomas. I'm a practicing psychotherapist in Tampa, Florida with Whitford Thomas Group. I'm going to speak to you today about how to get your teen to stop smoking. When we start about, when we look at stopping smoking smoking is simply a behavior, so we want to look at it from that kind of context is how do we get your teen to change or stop that behavior? There's four focuses we want to to have in helping your teen. The first area we'd look at would be motivation. You know, whether or not, one, they believe the smoking is a problem, and two, whether or not they want to do anything about that. So, they would either move from the very end of the motivation scale; what we call pre-contemplation stage, or the teen wouldn't, or the teen would believe that one, that the smoking is not an issue, and two, have virtually no motivation to change the behavior, all the way to the other end of the continuum which we call action; which they believe it's a problem, and highly motivated to change. The next area we'd look at would be urges and cravings. For most teenagers, stopping smoking is not that difficult since we they haven't really incorporated it into as many lifestyles as certainly adults do, cause' for most teens you can't easily smoke out in the open so they haven't conditioned it with a variety of other types of triggers yet, so coping with urges and cravings is probably a fairly easy thing to do. Third area is problem solving. Actually teaching them the thinking skills in order to change the behavior. Feelings and behaviors are driven by thoughts, so if you want to change how you feel or change what you do you look at changing your thoughts. So, the third focus would be problem solving, and we begin to try to help the teen to change the thinking that drives the behavior. And finally lifestyle balance, and with lifestyle balance it's we would begin to assess is how often or what do they associate the smoking with; in what context, in what environments do they tend to smoke. So again, how to stop your, help your teen to stop smoking; we have those major focuses. I'm Dr. David Thomas, speaking to you today about how to get your teen to stop smoking.


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