SAYING ‘NO!’ TO SMOKING - why smoking is uncool and how to avoid peer-group pressure
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Australia. Most smokers start smoking when they are at school. While some will dabble with smoking and then leave it behind, many will become life-long smokers, with all the health and financial implications, not to mention that cigarette smoking is often a precursor to the use of harder drugs.
When students start smoking, they do not have a nicotine addiction, do not have a smoking habit and cannot say that they like it. So why do students start smoking? We know the answers – peer group pressure, to be accepted, to fit in, to be cool.
Students are generally unaware of the underlying cause of this need for social acceptance – insecurity. It is insecurity that forms the need for an adolescent to do something that they know is harmful and that doesn’t give any positive payoff (unlike alcohol and other drugs, which give a very definite, and often desired, physiological effect).
Saying ‘NO!’ to smoking focuses on the following key areas:
- Details the main effects of smoking on health.
- Looks at the real reason why people start smoking (insecurity), and demonstrates conclusively how it is uncool.
- Shows how to deal with peer group pressure around smoking, as well as other peer pressures.
- Explains how a student who has already started smoking can stop without losing face.
Benefits of the program
- An overview of the health implications of smoking.
- An understanding of why people start smoking – insecurity.
- The knowledge that if they ever choose to smoke a cigarette, all their friends will know that at that moment, they are acting from insecurity. This is a powerful motivation to NOT smoke.
- Tools to be able to stand up for what they believe in, and to say ‘no’.
- An appreciation for how insecurity motivates other unhealthy or inappropriate behaviour, for example, alcohol, drugs and bullying.
- Greater confidence to honour their own values without feeling the need to compromise them.
- A greater sense of self.
- Increased maturity.
- Greater focus on the healthy aspects of life, including studies, recreation and sport.
Saying ‘NO!’ to smoking can be delivered as a larger group presentation or smaller group workshop. There is flexibility to run it as a 45 minute presentation, or a longer workshop, depending on the requirements of the school. Please contact us to discuss your school’s specific needs.