By Miguel Brown
Teen substance abuse trends move so fast! When I was a teenager in South Florida I though only older people actually chewed tobacco. Now, it seems to be all the rage! Although, as a teen I do remember hearing (and believing!) the misinformation that it was not as harmful to your health compared to smoking cigarettes. Below is the article I found describing the increase in smokeless tobacco use in Miami teens and a good summary of the negative health effects.
Reading the article it makes perfect sense. When teens use smokeless tobacco they are getting a huge dose of nicotine and various types of carcinogens. Sure, it's not going into your teenagers' lungs but check out this video and share it with your teens to really drive the point across that tobacco is harmful no matter how you use it.
This is yet another reminder that things change quickly in the world of your teens. Amid the largely benign fads and trends nasty things and misinformation can emerge. Having great communication and a trusting relationship with your teen is the best way to keep your ear to the grindstone and be ready to react fast before your teen gets swept up in something that has a strong potential to be destructive in their lives.