Tobacco causes almost 6 million people to die every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the United States alone, there are at least 16 million people living with a disease that was caused by smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke. The worst thing is, that number is totally preventable.
However, it is not easy to quit smoking, even when you want to. Not only is the nicotine in tobacco addictive, smoking is also often part of a smoker's daily routine. The best way to prevent the health issues caused by smoking is to never start, but sadly, some people are exposed to tobacco's addictive powers long before they reach adulthood. According to the CDC, 3,200 people younger than 18 in the United States smoke their first cigarette each day.
Many of the following videos contain personal stories of smokers who have quit, offering practical advice and relatable experiences, while others are aimed directly at teens and why they should never start smoking in the first place. Watch, learn, and share.
5 Stages of Quitting Smoking
This cute skit uses the five stages of grief to showcase what it's like to quit smoking, but to comic effect. It's fun, creative, and gets a good message across. The ending is worth waiting for!
21 Things I'd Rather Do Than Smoke
These kids would rather take a shower in cold soup or get their hair cut with a tin can than smoke a cigarette. If you like corny teenage humor, then you will like this video, and despite the silliness involved, the tune and message do get stuck in your head. This video would be a great way to start a conversation with kids about not smoking.
Celebrate Quitters: Adam Shares His Reason to Quit
Adam was a social smoker who kept saying he was going to quit, but never did. Then his father was diagnosed with lung cancer. That gave him the motivation to quit for good. He also discusses how much more he is able to enjoy the things he loves doing now that he doesn't smoke.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Face?
In this video, three smokers are given a sort of "scared straight" makeover to see what their face will look like in the future if they continue smoking. Needless to say, the participants are shocked by the results, particularly the look of their teeth. In an appearance-driven society like ours, quitting smoking is a significant way to stay looking younger and healthier.
How to Quit Smoking for Good… According To Science
According to some research, quitting cold turkey is the most effective way to get smoking out of your life for good. In this video, the two hosts (one of whom quit by following that approach) discuss the pros and cons, as well as what factors often cause people to start smoking again.
It Wasn't Better for Me
In this video from the CDC, listen to the true story of Kristy, who tried to quit smoking by smoking e-cigarettes. She thought they were healthier and would help her wean herself off of real cigarettes. However, she soon learned that this was not the case.
Lung Cancer Screening - Daniel Saket, MD
In this informative clip, radiologist Dr. Daniel Sakat addresses the importance of getting a lung cancer screening and walks you through the screening process. It outlines who should get screenings, what medical professionals are involved, and what the various results might be. This should put anyone at ease if they're concerned about screening.
Every 15 Cigarettes You Smoke Cause a Mutation That Can Become Cancer
As this video from the NHS explains, the chemicals present in cigarette smoke trigger changes in your genetic code, called mutations, which can develop into cancer. As explained in the clip, a mutation will form in your body for every 15 cigarettes you smoke. For a heavy smoker, that could mean you are upping your cancer risk every single day. This short and visually striking video is a memorable reminder that is definitely worth sharing.
Quit Smoking Now
This clip from "The Doctors" features interviews with people who have been impacted by smoking or have loved ones who are smokers. See how early patterns can evolve and what methods people are using to treat them. The hosts discuss the effects of smoking and go over a number of statistics and health facts that may surprise you.
A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit
In this TED Talk, psychiatrist Judson Brewer discusses how mindfulness or meditation can help you break bad habits, including smoking and overeating. He explains how our brains are conditioned to respond to certain triggers and how bad habits are formed, and discusses how you can condition your brain to recognize those triggers through mindfulness and rewards-based training.
Brian's health had deteriorated so much due to smoking that he ended up in hospice. In this video from the CDC, he talks about his slow recovery out of the hospice situation, followed by a close call getting a heart transplant, and journey back to health. His words are very unscripted, emotional, and powerful.
This is What Happens to Your Body After You Quit Smoking
This video outlines how long it takes your body to regain its health after you quit smoking, beginning with things that will get better within the first year, to others that need 15 years to recover, such as your heart. This is a great way to encourage young people to not start smoking in the first place.