and Advice for Christian Teenagers
Let's get it
straight right from the start: the way you behave reveals
how serious you are about being a Christian. It's that
simple. If God's really in your life He will make some
big permanent changes - and we are not talking about being
some kind of goody-goody. It goes deeper than that.
of you already know from experience that too many Christian
behave badly at times. You may even wonder if they are
really Christians at all. Some could tell you more about
Chart music and television than the major truths of the
Bible. Living God's way brings security, satisfaction,
safety and purity. Ignoring God's instructions will lead
to recklessness, impurity, indifference, worldliness,
selfishness and restlessness.
There's no point
in being a Christian if you don't intend to live the right
way. God is always right and knows what you need. At times
you may not like to admit that, but it's true. He loves
you and He knows what's best for you. It makes sense to
listen to what He says. If we don't draw close to Him and
live for Him we will miss out on what we really need. What
we want isn't that important. Christians only half-committed
to God can turn people away from Him. If people don't see
sincerity and reality in our lives they will have a good
reason to turn their backs on the truth.
highlights some of the problems Christian teenagers face
and offers some down-to-earth solutions. You will find
truths here you can take out into the world and put into
practice. But, be warned - it isn't easy.
We will also
take a special look at smoking, a growing problem among
young people. Sadly, some Christian teenagers smoke too,
while others suffer from its effects at home or work. The
final section will help smokers give up their dangerous
habit and encourage non-smokers to speak out intelligently
against smoking whenever they get the chance.
A NORMAL CHRISTIAN
So, how does
God want you to live? What's the right lifestyle for you?
What's right and what's wrong?Here, briefly, are just some
of God's instructions based on the teaching of the Bible.
to choose your friends carefully. You won't get on with
someone unless you agree. Common sense really. Clearly
your closest friends must be Christians who are
making an effort to live for God. Avoid those who say they
are Christians but obviously aren't in the slightest interested
in being Christ-like. Their general behaviour will give
them away. Take time to think about the way they live,
then consider God's standards and all that He calls you
The Bible tells
us that a Christian has nothing in common with someone
who doesn't believe, or with those who obviously don't
care about sticking to the Christian way of life (Amos
3:3, NKJV; 2nd Corinthians 6:14,15). If you insist
in regularly hanging out with such people, they
will make it more difficult for you to do the right thing.
There is a difference between casual friendships
and serious close friendships. It's good to have
unsaved casual friends - if you never had any acquaintances
you would have less opportunity to share about the Lord!
But close, steady relationships with those who
are not Christians will most likely leave you compromised
by muddling up your priorities and diluting your commitment
to Christ. If all of this seems extreme to you, go
right now to the Scriptural evidence presented in
the section Friendship and Forgiveness. God wants to
see true unity among Christian friends.
Try hard to
keep your mind and body pure. Refuse sexual immorality
the instant you're exposed to it. You'll find plenty of
impurity on TV, in magazines, on the Net and among friends
at school. Don't get stressed out about being different.
Don't just cave in and be like the rest. God offers you
something that's pollution-free. Give your body to God
for the rest pf your life and keep your sexuality for your
marriage partner. (We will take a closer look at sexual
problems in chapter 2.)
obscene or crude. Avoid coarse or rude jokes. Try to control
your sense of humour while making sure you take time to
have fun. Being happy is like good medicine. So share a
spoonful with somebody.
Try your very
best to live a clean life. You belong to God, so set yourself
apart for Him and allow Him to shape your conduct. Give
yourself totally to Him and don't be afraid to be very
different to the world. You should resist anything bad,
no matter what and even expose it for what it really is.
Get you mind tuned in to only good things and think about
them. Check everything carefully to make sure God approves.
If you're not sure, examine the Bible carefully.
God wants you
to learn to love and respect yourself. Look after your
body as well as your mind. What about the healthy option?
Eat the right thing. Think about how much junk food you
eat. Maybe you should cut down on all fried food, hamburgers,
curries, crisps and sweets. Don't just go by what tastes
good. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy
products, bread and potatoes. Are you looking after your
teeth? Should you be getting more exercise? Are you spending
too much time in front of a computer screen? Sometimes
it seems that these things don't matter, but those who
fall into bad habits during their teenage years often suffer
from poor health in later life. Time goes past very quickly.
Your body will respond to what you eat.
Make the most
of your time for God. A sinful world needs busy Christians
who are really trying to follow Jesus. A selfish lifestyle
will leave you unfulfilled in old age. You don't want to
end up so bored and aimless that you just sit there opening
your junk mail while watching morning TV.
nothing to do with the devil and the occult. Resist him
and everything he does. Don't listen to any of his enticing
lies. Hate everything bad. Cling to God and to whatever
is good. That way the devil will have a very hard time
getting the better of you.
Learn to control
your anger. It only causes trouble and conflict. Don't
try to get even. Don't be rude with people and don't use
bad language. (Count to ten and think again!) Try not to
tell lies, even so-called white ones, and don't exaggerate.
Don't bend the facts or try to distort the truth to gain
when people get on your nerves. Speak the plain truth in
love and try your very best to live in peace with everyone.
Don't run people down behind their backs or say you hate
them. Hate is a terrible thing. You don't mean it. You
wouldn't like it if someone said they hated you. Do to
others what you would like them to do to you.
Take time to
help and comfort those who are going through hard times.
We need one another. When we are suffering it's nice to
know that someone cares - even if it's just stomach trouble
or toothache. It helps to have people around you who can
offer love and comfort. Words are cheap. Show friends you
really do care by offering practical help when they need
Don't be selfish
and greedy. Don't worry about money. You can't take it
with you! The part of your nature that prefers to do without
God can easily get carried away with money. It 's easy
to spot those who can't control their income - they try
to fill their lives with lots of things they don't really
need. Less important things become bigger and better. Money
tempts us and trips us up. It can push God into the shade.
We can end up spending too much on things we like instead
of things we really need. Some Christians act like fools,
being led away by harmful desires which end in trouble
A rich business
man once confessed that when he had climbed to the very
top of the ladder he found there was nothing there!
world would try to convince us that it's a good idea
to work longer
hours to get plenty of money. God says that's not smart! "Do
not overwork to be rich" (Proverbs 23:4). Use your head.
See how quickly money races away from you and disappears!
It will never bring contentment into your life, no matter
how rich you become.
Don't get on
the wrong side of the law. Don't take more than your fair
share. Two Christians were walking past a Christian bookshop
when the owner opened the door and threw scraps of paper
onto the busy street. God and people are watching us. Sometimes
we could easily do better.
Make sure you
always take time to share your life with God through prayer.
Prayer is very important - and sometimes very difficult!
If we were honest we would have to admit that there are
times when it's easier not to bother. But despite all the
problems, get into the habit of talking to God. He tells
us in the Bible that He is our Helper and Friend. He really
Do your best
to regularly attend church. For a good number of teenagers,
going to church is sometimes as dreary as an extra two
periods of maths a week at school. To a certain extent
this is understandable. Some adults have very real problems
with their church meetings! Ask them. However, if you make
an effort to think about the choruses you sing and the
messages you hear, you might just get a bit more out of
it. It seems that some church services are a little behind
the times and out of touch, making it difficult for younger
people to relate.
Be sure to regularly
read and understand God's Word, because it will strengthen
you and help you to do the right thing. This is very important.
Chapter 3 will tell you more about the Bible. It's heavy
going, but try to read it all.
Too many young
people give up too soon. They say they can't keep up the
high standards. They may even feel like they are missing
out. But it takes time to get a hold on God's will for
your life. Most Christians learn the hard way. Each day
is part of a process that can occasionally be painful.
Don't give up on God. He will help you in ways you don't
understand. Trust Him through the hard times. That's faith,
and you must walk by faith.
for mature, experienced Christians who appreciate what
teenagers go through. They won't be religious. They will
tell you about their failures and doubts. They will show
you how God brought them through to serve Him. They will
be only too willing to encourage you and offer you direction.
Don't be afraid to cry out for help. It's not a sign of
weakness. It's sensible. Never give up. Never!
FIRST, LAST AND IN THE MIDDLE TOO
it's impossible to fit God in where we are, even when
we can! The Bible says, "In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:6, NKJV).
It's a big mistake to carelessly wander off down any path
we take a fancy to. Can we acknowledge Him on every path
we choose? It is extremely important that we allow God
to lead us. "He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name's sake"(Psalm 23:3, NKJV). In other
words, God is revealed in us when we live the right way
and do the right thing.
our behaviour let others know we have a serious relationship
with Him? "...whatever
you do, do all to the glory of God" (1st Corinthians 10:31, NKJV); "...
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to
God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17, NKJV).
God has no place in the things we do. Many teenage Christians
would feel very uncomfortable trying to acknowledge God
in all their ways. Ungodly peer pressure regularly influences
careless young believers. Can Christians acknowledge God
and keep Him in the centre of their experience when they
go to see a movie containing bad language, extreme violence
and sex? Are Christians really on the right path when they
listen to music that makes a big issue out of godless,
sensual things? What do unbelievers think of us and God
when we disregard His standards?
We are more
likely to fall when we would rather please ourselves. We
cannot acknowledge God when we light up a cigarette, watch
godless scenarios unfolding on TV, date people who aren't
Christians, get distracted by money and position, hobbies
and possessions... The list is endless. Is God pleased
with our behaviour? Would He go where we go, watch what
we watch, listen to and enjoy what we listen to and enjoy?
Are we doing all to the glory of God? Are we really trying?
These are tough questions. And we are all called to examine
But wait! You
don't need to give up, no matter how hard it seems.
take it one step further. Life's not just about doing
thing and choosing the right path. Life is really about
a Person. The Bible says, "To live is Christ" (Philippians
1:21). Sounds extreme. But it's normal.
can get a bit too religious! Call it formalism or environmental
restrictions! But it's an easy mistake to make if you're
not careful. They have all the bits and pieces of Christianity
carefully labelled and filed neatly into relevant drawers.
But instead of knowing Him, their heads are stuffed
with knowledge about Him. We must move up higher. "Many
Christians are more interested in the principles of God
than in the person of God. They give to God, receive from
God and work on His behalf, but they never enter into an
intimate relationship with Him" (Judson Cornwall, Meeting
God is vital, but we can't stop there. He's real, no matter
what your feelings may try to tell you. More than anything
else, desire to get to know Christ more and more. He will
respond. Tell Him you want Him with you every step of the
way along every path He chooses for you. Take time to raise
your voice in prayer and praise. Worship Him! He is great
and greatly to be praised!
Do the best
you can to live the right way, but always make sure you
are hungry for more of God Himself. Knowledge will not
satisfy you. You will run out of steam and end up with
a meaningless religious routine. There is no victorious
power in head knowledge alone.
YOUTH CLUBS, ENTERTAINMENT and SCHOOL
lots of obstacles when they try to live the right way.
Peer pressure can become the big problem, mostly
at school. Even Christian friends, who should know better,
can trip you up too. So what should you do? Don't let loneliness
rob you of a strong Christian lifestyle. Many mid-teens
drift into harmful habits and relationships because they
have difficulty finding Christian friends who are really
making a serious effort for God. But it doesn't make sense
to do what's wrong because you can't find someone to do
right things with.
If you can,
read some quality Christian books, especially those intended
for young people. If, like many teenagers today, you're
not much of a reader, see if you can get along to the occasional
Christian concert (a responsible one), or maybe you could
rent out a selection of videos to help you grow as a Christian.
If you really are on a downer, talk to your parents and
possibly church youth club leaders. If they let you down, and
they might, continue to pray that God will lead you
into something worthwhile.
Don't be tempted
to get romantically involved with someone just to put the
time in and give your life some meaning. It would probably
be more trouble than it's worth. Really! Ask around, if
you don't already know.
the alternatives to living God's way are bad news. They
do not work. This is an obvious truth many teenagers overlook.
God is real and if you trust Him He will strengthen you
and lift you up. Have faith in God.
it's a good idea to join a Christian youth club or fellowship.
But some of you may have been surprised and disappointed
during your first few hours of fellowship with other Christian'
teenagers. A few members were not what you expected. Two
teenage girls related some of their experiences with young
believers at a church club: some were openly indecent and
crude: they didn't really expect to see that boy drop his
trousers and show off his weird boxer shorts!
They also heard
bad language. Many of the teenagers seemed to watch a
lot of TV and listen to nothing but chart music. There
didn't seem to be a lot of respect and restraint. Some
were obviously there for the boy/girl thing. The girls
watched wasteful and childish food fights. There seemed
to be a general lack of discipline somehow...
There are various
reasons why teenagers behave this way. To begin with, not
all regular attenders are really Christians and some of
those who are may be going through their rebellious or
apathetic stage. So don't be too quick to judge. It could
be that they are not being properly disciplined and encouraged
at home. Parents may not be spending enough time with their
kids, educating them in the ways of the Lord. But a sensitive
and caring church is more than happy to open its doors
to all teenagers, to guide them into life-saving Christian
When you are
young you are continually dealing with your own immaturity
and developing personality. It's part of growing up. It
just seems that some teenagers grow up slower than others!
If a youth club lacks a strong code of Christian conduct
(preferably written down and pinned to a wall), and the
muscle to enforce it, teenagers will be more inclined to
don't give up on a youth club too soon. It's much better
to get involved with a Christian group than to get attached
to a secular club (one not concerned with religion') .If
you are dissatisfied with your youth club, tell your parents
and together try to discuss your grievances with youth
leaders and the pastor of the church. It could be that
because of your personality you find it difficult to fit
in with other teenagers. That happens and that's OK. Each
person is unique.
problem lies with some leaders themselves. Although this
may appear to be unlikely, it's a fact of life that Christian
youth leaders can be careless or inattentive. Some youth
leaders are prayerful and dedicated, interested in the
quality of activities. Some are not so careful. They may
be under pressure because of private circumstances beyond
their control. Like many teenagers they may be struggling
to live the right way and do the right thing. They may
have fallen into serious sin. (Remember, a person is not
bad through and through because he does something bad.
He needs love, help and forgiveness.) Whatever the case,
the reasons for your discontentment need to be dealt with.
Don't let things trundle on and on if you are not happy.
must lead by example. Just like those who have a God-given
prominent role in the life of the local church, their private
lives need to be right before God - otherwise they are
not suitable. Have they paid their car tax? TV licence?
Do they drive the church bus carelessly? Do they smoke?
Smoking is addictive, and no one can serve two masters.
It will show in their conduct. What is their daily attitude
to God and life in general? Is Christ reflected in their
lifestyle? Church leadership must ensure that all youth
leaders show themselves to be determined to do the right
thing. No one is perfect, but an ongoing spiritual attitude
is essential. Streetwise teenagers are quick to spot hypocrisy,
using it to lower their own standards and excuse their
Working in a
youth club is a ministry to strengthen and encourage young
people, protect them from the dangers of the world, and
see them grow strong in Christ. Fully committed leaders
desire to see you maturing naturally and spiritually. They
know only too well that the church youth club is not just
about playing games, having fun, going places and eating
to do the right thing if you're cautious about the world
of entertainment and the media. Be careful what you read
and be very careful about what you watch. Television, radio,
books, magazines, videos and the Internet entertain and
share all sorts of information with the public. Generally
this is a good thing, but on the whole they create and
communicate their own godless world-view which is unacceptable
to Christians. Put any secular programme or website you
like to the test and see for yourself. Is it in tune with
God's Word and rules?
this, too: Are you strong enough to resist the world's
entertainment and information world is never interested
in God's laws
or what He wants for His people. In fact the media is part
of the world's corrupt system. "American research shows
that the average teenager sees 9230 acts of sex or innuendos
encouraging sexual involvement a year [and] the average
household sees between 70 and 90 television commercials
per day" (Josh McDowell).
to godless influences can easily leave you with a dodgy
view of morality. Dividing lines can become blurred. Television
and the Net can subtly eat away at your high standards.
And most alarmingly, it can poison your mind with everything
from extreme pornography to excessive materialism (nothing
spiritual - just matter, what you are aware of through
and accompanying videos often preach a warped set of values
- mainly sexual and material. Should Christian teenagers
be into chart music? Hold on! Controversial question! Are
you happy about the behaviour of singers and groups? Do
you agree with the things they sing about? What are they
living for? Do these question irritate you? Why?
media world manipulates the mind quite easily until you're
with the lifestyles of the soap characters and the undisciplined
behaviour of the chat show guests. Maybe we should all
think again (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:17-24) about what
place the world has in our lives (1st John 2:15 -17). "Separate
yourself from the world and at once you will be in new
surroundings favourable to the keeping of God's will" (Richard
Wurmbrand). In other words, you'll go further with God
And what about
the world? Is the world your friend or your enemy? What
does the Bible say? Read carefully Romans 12:2, Colossians
3:1-3, James 4:4, and 1st John 2:15-17. Discuss these verses
at length with a mature Christian and then ask yourself
if you are influenced by the way the godless world around
you behaves and thinks.
the influence of the world make it harder to do the right
thing? It certainly
does not make it easier. What do you think God is telling
us when He says we are to keep ourselves "unstained
[or, uncontaminated] by the world" (James 1:27)? Is
the world dirty? Does it have some kind of disease? Can
we really catch something from it? Check out the last chapter.
teenagers at school (your peers) will be quick to put
you down if
you behave badly, maybe losing your temper and cursing
or something like that. So, you are human & You will
come across people who say things like, "Huh! And you're
supposed to be a Christian." Following Christ isn't easy
- especially at the start. People who aren't Christians
usually don't know what they're talking about. They might
call you a goody-goody because you are trying to live the
right way. Don't let it bother you. Politely ignore them.
According to The
World Book Dictionary a goody-goody is someone "who
makes too much of being good. " This sort of goodness
is "artificial". It's a fake. You're not trying
to be good just for the sake of it or to get a pat on
the back. That would be a bit sad. God expects good behaviour
from those who follow Him because He knows what you and
others need. He wants you to be safe and sensible. The
world urgently needs responsible, hard-working, honest
at the lives of those who dare to call you goody-goody.
What do you see? Selfishness, greed, foolishness, addictions,
hatred, dishonesty, sexual immorality, recklessness. The
world is in a mess because of these things. Watch the news.
Some of your regular loud-mouthed critics don't have much
self-control, do they? What sensible person would want
to be like them? They sometimes can't be bothered going
to school or work and don't make much of an effort when
they are there. They stay out far too late. They smoke,
they steal, they curse. They tell lies, get into silly
arguments and start fights. They are rude and crude, nasty
and cruel. They have no respect. They think life is some
sort of game where they can be cool and smart, but they
end up hurting themselves and causing problems for other
people. Nothing worthwhile there! So don't pay any attention
when they ignorantly call you a goody-goody, or worse.
What do they have that's better? They need to think about
their selfishness and sinfulness. Their lives lack real
quality. See if you can help them. Without God's help we
could be the same.
should always start out each day determined to do your
best. God does
not expect perfection! We need His help, wisdom, guidance
and forgiveness. "... the blood of Jesus Christ His
Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no
sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is
not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous
to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1st
John 1:8, 9, NKJV). When we are truly sorry and
tell Him about the wrong things in our lives, He washes
away all the dirt. We are saved and secure.
about giving up just because you don't get it right every
time. If it wasn't for the goodness of God we would all
get disillusioned and depressed. Stick at it! Press on!
If you sin, go back to God and ask Him to forgive you.
He loves you and understands your weaknesses. Tell your
ignorant friends' that God never said you would be flawless.
Tell them you're doing your best and you intend to learn
from your mistakes and weaknesses. Be confident that you
have chosen the better way.
you are put on the spot and questioned harshly about
your faith, keep
your answers brief. Don't get worried or lose your cool
if they ask you questions like these: "Why do you
believe in God when you have never seen Him?"; "Can
you get God to do a miracle now?"; "Can you walk
on water?"; "Why does God allow suffering?"; "Do
you believe in angels and the devil? "; "Who
made God?"; "Why don't you believe in evolution?
what about evolution? What is it? Well, evolution replaces
powers with a complicated process of natural development
spanning millions and millions of years. In other words
- we just happened! Always remember that evolution is barely
a theory - someone has pointed out that it lacks a "conceptual
framework". There is no clear evidence to prove that
it has ever taken place. Evolution is not a scientific
fact, no matter what you are taught in school books and
no matter what you see on TV.
are many Christian books on the subject. It is not weird
to believe in creation instead of evolution. You are not
a glorified ape and monkeys are not "man's closest
relatives". "Evolutionism is a fairy tale for
grown-ups " (Professor Louis Bounoure). "Scientists
who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life
are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be
the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do
not have one iota of fact" (Dr. T.N. Tahmisian). "The
probability of life originating from an accident is comparable
to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting
from an explosion in a printing shop" (Professor Edwyn
be put off if you are insulted or made fun of because
faith in God and the way you live. Christ was mocked too.
He said: "What happiness will be yours when people
blame you and ill-treat you and say all kinds of slanderous
things against you for My sake! Be glad then, yes be tremendously
glad - for your reward in Heaven is magnificent" (Matthew
5:12, Phillips). Don't be ashamed of Christ. Dare
to be different!
Life can be
full of things that are really worthwhile, but surprisingly
the modern notions of romance and dating are not included.
To hear people talk you would think romance is very important.
But, surprisingly it's not. The modern concept of romance
is the product of an empty world desperate for relationships,
fulfilment and intimacy.
girls' magazines positively drip with the ins and outs
of romance and dating: how to date and who you should date;
what to wear and how to wear it; how to be sexy (what
's that got to do with romance?); what to say; where you
should go on that very first exciting date. But, does it
be a pretty harrowing experience that all too often ends
in emotional upsets, depression or tough sexual problems.
It's nice to be on a date - maybe - but what does it really
do for you? Do you need it? Are you prepared for all the
pressures? Will you be able to give enough time to God,
or will your boyfriend/girlfriend always come first? And,
if you are going steady, are you old enough to know what
true love is? Are you aiming for marriage? If not, why
popular TV-style idea of romance and dating, the attitudes
are constantly exposed to at school, always revolves around
looks, personality and performance - the wrong values. "He's
gorgeous!" " Look at her!" You know how
it goes. We can't print it all here! But in truth, these
reactions are way out of line. They are hollow and cheap.
School books and folders reveal just who is taken in by
petty attractions. What's on yours?
Good looks are
no guarantee of decency and responsibility. A great personality
doesn't mean you will find strong Christian character and
the commitment to high standards that go with it. Talented
people can be big-headed and thoroughly obnoxious. It's
very important you understand this. Just think! The Christian
teenager sitting in the corner with the pimples, glasses
and double chin could be the one to offer you a rich, meaningful
relationship all the way into marriage! It's cruel and
unfair to go by appearances. It's immature and careless
to be taken in by good looks and personality alone. Think
If you are determined
to seek out romance you should prepare yourself for the
stress and pitfalls of dating. You will inevitably be compromised
if you date someone who is not a Christian. You will come
face to face with some big problems right from the start.
Anyone can go to church and say Christian things through
the week and at the church youth club, but that doesn't
make him or her right for you. Check out a person 's
standards. Is he or she really a Christian and really determined
to put Christ first?
will almost certainly cause you sexual problems at some
stage - even if you are both Christians. Being alone together
will eventually arouse passions and ignite the powerful
sexual chemistry inside you. Touching can become too intimate.
Kissing can suddenly become strongly sexual. There is no
need to yawn in each other's mouths. (Don't go by what
you see on children's TV and in the soaps.) There are sensible
ways to touch, kiss and hug, but let's face facts -
a little intimacy can quickly kill off self-control. It's
no laughing matter. You don't want to experience the heavy
load of guilt the next day.
girls should give attention to what they wear. Let's
get real about
this. You should expect teenagers to be easily aroused
by anything short, low-cut or too tight, and who could
blame them? Many Christian girls are annoyed by this. "Why
should I dress a certain way just because some boys can't
control themselves?" they ask. Good point.
any girl with a brain and any serious level of Christian
knows that when it comes to clothes there is a clear line
she must not cross over. Subtlety is worth aiming for.
You are making a big mistake if you think it is all right
to flaunt your assets! A girl lowers herself when she is "cheaply
and blatantly provocative " (a tart). Of course
it is true that sometimes, no matter what is worn, a girl
can still expect to get a stupid and undisciplined reaction
from someone somewhere. It's inevitable in school, especially
during mixed PE lessons and visits to the swimming pool.
(Some parents question these practices.) But if you are
harassed or even touched be sure to tell an adult you know
you can trust.
need to have the edge on immature boys - those who whistle
or stare. If this happens to you, don't take it lightly.
You don't want to give the wrong impression. You could
easily encourage them. Stand up to them and tell them to
grow up. You're not a tasty piece of meat to be eyed up
and down lustfully. Don't be rude. Be firm.
Don't be too
easy-going in your relationships with the opposite sex,
especially when it comes to dating. If you approach dating
carelessly you will certainly open the door to immoral
behaviour, and regret it for many years to come. It is
a serious mistake for young Christians to lose their virginity
on a half-baked date with someone they know they would
have already experienced the heartache of going too far.
If so, bear in mind that you are particularly equipped
to share your experiences with those you know who are facing
tough sexual problems. They would benefit from hearing
about all that you have been through.
a precious gift you can give away to the person you are
lovingly committed to for life. It's easy to lose your
virginity in a few minutes of private passion, but it's
impossible to get it back. There are five unmarried
teenage girls within shouting distance of the author's
home who never thought they would be pushing buggies so
soon in their lives. It happens too easy. Don't think it
couldn 't happen to you.
Do you want
good advice? Don't be in a hurry to date. Better
still - don't allow yourself to be programmed by the world!
Be free to discover who you really are. Allow God to lead
you into life and a rich relationship with Himself. If
it is your intention to seek a partner, ask Him to lead
you into marriage when the time is right. Don't waste time
worrying about romance. It's much too fickle and unstable.
Get out there, enjoy life and ask God to show what really
matters, and when.
this may not go down well in some circles, experience does
teach you that a Christian can only really have a good,
worthwhile relationship with another Christian. A good
Christian relationship depends on common ground. There
are good reasons for this.
friendship with those who are not Christians will
inevitably lead to compromise. Relationships have to
be taken seriously. Spending too much time in the company
of those who are not Christians will ultimately pull
down or subtly adapt a Christian's commitment to Christ.
It may be hard to see at first, but it will happen.
At the very
least Christians should always have it in mind to seek
out the right kind of relationships. It's logical - a Christian
who wants to please God and do the right thing will not
feel comfortable with the attitudes, lifestyle, beliefs
and probably behaviour of someone who is not a Christian.
You just can't walk in different directions. You must decide.
How could you have a worthwhile friendship with someone
who is lost and not care about his or her future?
Then there are
those who are consistently reckless, hypocritical
or half-hearted in their Christian walk. Your daily habit
of doing things God's way won't rest easily with people
like this. Remember too that the bad habits of others may
soon rub off on you.
true friendship will not involve crude talk or a misplaced
sense of humour: "The
key-note of your conversation should not be coarseness
or silliness or flippancy - which are quite out of place" (Ephesians
5:4, Phillips). Nor will a genuine Christian friendship
involve cheating, worldliness, hypocrisy or greed. Your
Christian friends should always be making an effort to
live the right way and, if they are not, it's never too
late to start again!
mature Christian love;
and practical support, and
fellowship (see Proverbs 17:17; Luke 17:1-3; Ecclesiastes
4:9,10; Galatians 6:2; 1st John 1:7).
If these are all lacking,
a friendship will certainly be harmful. If some are lacking,
you need to be very careful indeed.
friends love each other (John 13:35) as Christ commanded
(15:12). A real friend will not be two-faced (Romans 12:9).
A consistently hypocritical person should be politely refused
friendship (there are lots of inoffensive ways to do this).
True friends will put each other first (v 10) and give
thought to each other's needs (v 13). Always remember that
love does no harm (13:10) and only seeks to help others
and build them up (15:2).
If you become
a careful observer you will soon discover that there are
teenage Christians who are immature, lazy, confused and
messed up by a world they are powerless to resist. They
can be worn down by misconceptions, fears, limitations,
illnesses and spiritual attacks. Christians make mistakes,
but if they are really trying to overcome their difficulties
and press on, they will allow God to make them more like
Jesus. Those who have been Christians for many years, or
claim to have been, and noticeably lack character, are
demonstrably unsuitable for true friendship. Something
is very wrong.
journey through life should make us more like Christ -
not leave us like those who do not believe in Him or can't
even be bothered making the effort to live for Him.
and Applying Christian Forgiveness
there be no more bitter resentment or anger, no more shouting
[or quarrelling], or slander, and let there be no bad feeling
of any kind among you. Be kind to each other, be compassionate.
Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ's sake
has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31,32, Phillips). "Be
patient and tolerant with one another, always ready to
forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as
freely as the Lord has forgiven you. And above all else,
be truly loving" (Colossians 3:12, 13, Phillips).
among Christians, and between true Christian friends, is essential if
they want to keep the peace and have a strong relationship.
But can forgiveness be separated from Christian common
sense and discipline? Let's see.
find in the New Testament that those who caused trouble
put out of churches because they were not genuinely sorry
for their behaviour and because they made no effort to
change. "Don't associate with the brother whose life
is undisciplined, and not in accordance with the tradition
[sound Christian teaching] which you received from us" (2nd
Thessalonians 3:6, Phillips). Ongoing indifference,
lack of commitment and troublesome behaviour lead to justifiable
rejection. But don't think of these people as your enemies.
Christ would not have us turn away completely from those
who have no one else to guide them.
Christians and religious pseudo-Christians (in name only)
some committed teenage Christians to stumble or fall. Some
knowingly and irresponsibly try to pass on bad attitudes
and habits. Jesus Himself warned us, "It is inevitable
that there should be pitfalls, but alas [great grief, trouble
or distress] to the man who is responsible for them" (Luke
17:1, Phillips). He then went on to define forgiveness: "If
your brother [and it appears we are talking about a true
Christian here] sins against you, rebuke him; and if
he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you
seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns
to you saying I repent [I am sorry],' you shall forgive
him [and no longer hold resentment]" (Luke 17:3).
friend who wrongs you ought to feel genuinely sorry before
you offer your forgiveness. A true Christian friend will
sooner or later apologise sincerely and meaningfully and
change his or her behaviour, because he or she wants to
develop as a Christian and lovingly do what's right before
God. It is unwise to continually welcome back so-called
friends' who time and time again make it plain that they
are not really sorry at all. You could do without the hassle
and emotional upset.
A word of warning:
it's impossible to stay close to God while you have
sinful anger and hatred locked up in your heart. Thoughts
of revenge will fill you with bitterness. God alone is
Judge. Ask Him to give you wisdom in your search for real,
teenagers are usually reasonably strong and healthy.
life is often complicated and seemingly unfair, many
suffer from emotional stress. Just growing up produces
all kinds of problems which can lead to rebellion, bitterness,
depression, suicide, and cynicism (doubting the goodness
or sincerity of others, being grumpy and sneering). If
you're not careful the daily business of life itself can
easily become a back-breaking burden.
It would be
very nice indeed if our lives brought us no problems and
one day we just fell asleep and went to Heaven. But no
- life can be tough. It has a way of kicking you hard when
you're down. Who can deny this? There are those who need
to wake up to the unpleasant truth that life will hurt
- no matter what they do or believe. When the heat's on
you may find yourself shaking your fist at God, angry that
He allowed you and others to get hurt. But your anger and
bitterness will only make things worse. Don't waste time
arguing with God. You can't win. He is always right. Don't
put off the inevitable. You must press on with Him, pain
or no pain.
Jesus said that
in this world we will experience trouble and upset. Elsewhere
in the Bible we are told to endure hardship and discover
our inner strength through our many weaknesses. In fact,
if we are prepared to work at it and be disciplined, difficult
times are opportunities to grow as Christians. Various
trials test and mature our faith. Through pain and suffering
we can learn to be patient and patience in turn strengthens
our relationship with God. Gritty endurance in God produces
character and makes us more like Christ.
need the pain of life! Salvation became a reality through
emotional pain and agonising death. Hard times ought to
turn us to the Lord: "Before I was afflicted I went
astray, but now I keep Your word ... It is good for me
that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (Psalm
119:67; 71, NKJV). Hard times can be used to burn
off sin and check cool indifference.
us He is always there beside us through the fire and the
flood. It is wrong to always expect Him to protect us from
frightening and stressful experiences. It won't happen!
He is with us as we pass through each frustrating, painful
trial. We must endure to the very end.
But many teenagers
do not experience the benefits of hard times. They back
off or collapse during times of hardship. If we are willingly
submitted to Christ we will eagerly learn from Him. He
will teach us how to endure the endless weaknesses of mind
and body. Our relationship with Him will grow and produce
results. Obedience and faith together are the key to rest
and true relief.
Too often Christians
experience unnecessary hardship because they try to carry
too much themselves. Others blame God for standing by while
they suffer, ignoring the fact that for years their relationship
with Christ has been steadily cooling off, probably because
of sin. (Sin warps our understanding of God.) Instead of
stumbling along in the dark they should be walking before
God in the light, trusting Him fully, turning over every
area into His capable hands.
As we allow
God to lead us, we come to see what kind of a Person He
really is. He will never push us too hard or give us huge
burdens we could never carry. He knows how much we can
take and when. His burden is light, the product of His
wisdom and love.
Make Jesus your
Lord and not just your Saviour. Turn away from earth's
distractions. Life with Him should be fully satisfying.
He strengthens us and helps us to cope with life's pain.
In Him we really can find rest for our souls. Many Christians
suffer terribly. Most of us cannot come even close to understanding
the misery some believers go through. At times suffering
seems to make no sense at all. Christians old and young
become prisoners in their own bodies while others lose
their personalities and minds. Sometimes there are no easy
answers for a struggling faith and a sneering world. But
ultimately faith lays hold of God and won't let go. Trusting
God is more important than knowing why. What else can we
It may seem
like God is leading you through trials too hard to bear.
Perhaps you are deeply depressed or suffering terrible
pain. You may be broken-hearted, not wanting to go on.
The future may be frightening and bleak. Submit to His
authority and live for Him right through to the end.
are being watched! Take a look over your shoulder ...
There are teenagers
who are on the lookout for reasons to run away from Jesus
Christ. They are watching you carefully to see what sort
of a person you are and what effect being a Christian has
on your life.
So far we have
seen some of the many benefits of living the Christian
life. It positively affects your mind and body. It makes
you feel like you are somebody. It gives you a purpose
and a reason to live. It makes you wise and productive,
honest and reliable. The Christian life offers you power
over a variety of things that would lead you away from
God. Following God keeps you safe.
How do you behave
when other teenagers are around, at school, college or
work? Are you trying your best to set a good example? Are
you concerned about those who do not know the truth? They
need to hear it. How do you cope with teenagers' reasons
for not becoming a Christian? They have plenty of excuses
for avoiding God. Here are some genuine examples given
to the author:
seem so goody-goody. I like to have fun and the Christian
life is so dead!"
doing my exams at the moment."
not ready yet. Maybe if I got someone to try it with
me I could manage it."
know about some ministers who can't live the Christian
life, so what hope have I got? God is really a very complicated
guy, so I don't want to talk about it. I sort of believe
in it and that is that, so to speak."
am not in touch with reality and I don't particularly
want to be either, cause it's so awful. I am going to
have one hell of a time with no responsibilities."
I was a Christian there would be certain things I would
have to face up to. I want to leave it for now. If I
went 100% for Christ I would have to give up hanging
about with my best friend, and I don't want to date a
honest statements all display an ignorance of the power
and wisdom of God who is able to save, keep and protect.
They are ignorant words or maybe just words to hide behind.
There is, of course, no legitimate argument against God's
salvation. Reasons for avoiding Him are always selfish.
Most mid-teens want to duck heavy issues about sin and
eternity - and who could blame them! They don't want their
they need to deal with their sin as soon as possible. Slippery
excuses ignore the inevitable - someday we all will have
to stand before God, no matter what reasons we had for
turning our backs on Him. How tragic to avoid His love,
power and salvation for the sake of short-lived pleasure'
found in drink, parties, relationships, sex, money, position,
influence... These are poor reasons for living.
patient with those you know who are not Christians. Don't
come on too
heavy. You might sicken them. Tell them in your own words
that they are just wasting time on a one-way ticket to
God's judgement. The longer they wait, the worse it gets: "...
because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you
are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and
revelation of the righteous judgement of God" (Romans
2:5, NASB). There are no second chances. Remind
them that they can 't even be sure about tomorrow.
Be honest, too.
Let them know that being a Christian isn't easy, but in
the long run it's the best way to live. God wouldn't offer
them salvation if it wasn't worthwhile. The Christian lifestyle
must be a good thing ! There are no workable alternatives.
God's smart. He knows what He's talking about. He knows
what's best. A few years of pleasure are not worth an eternity
separated from God and all those who tried to share God's
Pray for your
unsaved acquaintances. Ask God to give you wisdom to cope
with their understandably selfish and ignorant excuses.
Maybe you can remember only too well the way you behaved
before you became a Christian. Never give up. If you are
faithful you may see God drawing teenagers to Christ, so
just be willing and ready to do your part.
Too many Christian
teenagers drink alcohol. Usually this is because of peer
pressure. Sometimes irresponsible adults who never drink
to excess (so they say) encourage young Christians to start.
But teenagers and young adults usually struggle with self-control.
When tempted they can easily take too much.
Alcohol is not
well known for being the Christian's friend. If you're
not careful it may unzip your godly standards. It is always
most at home in the company of those who do not know Christ
where its effects can be chaotic. It will try to draw you
into places you would normally avoid. It will promise you
a little comfort when you're feeling a bit depressed. It
will waste your money (you get nothing worthwhile in return).
Alcohol has nothing to offer you. The fact that the world
makes such a ridiculous fuss about it should be a clear
enough warning for any Christian.
defined, is a poison that slows down the brain and in large
quantities can permanently damage the liver. It can also
damage cells in the heart muscle and ultimately weaken
them. Alcohol in moderation reduces the risk of heart disease
(recent research), but so does a good diet and regular
exercise. And anyway, drink's bad effects outweigh the
so-called good effects!
Alcohol in small
amounts increases the heart rate and blood pressure. When
an individual becomes very drunk the pulse is rapid and
feeble. Alcohol sticks' red blood cells together and makes
it difficult for them to carry a vital supply of oxygen
to various parts of the body. Regular heavy drinkers will
not escape the adverse effects of alcohol. Around 40,000
deaths each year are alcohol-related.
It would be
best for you to stay away from alcohol - and don't even
think about getting drunk. Don't be fooled by the sanitised
flashy advertisements you may see on TV. They don 't
tell the true, tragic story. There's nothing desirable
about alcohol. It 's bad news. Too many crimes and acts
of violence are related to the abuse of alcohol. 66% of
suicides are alcohol-related; 50% of murders and 50% of
rapes are perpetrated by people under the influence of
drink; there are 100,000 convictions every year for drunkenness;
over 5000 mid-teens are convicted for alcohol-related offences
each year. Alcohol causes a wide variety of accidents:
1500 road deaths each year are alcohol-related; 30% of
pedestrian traffic accidents involve alcohol; 20% of accidents
at work are related to alcohol.
Alcohol is an
anesthetic drug that suppresses, or numbs brain activity.
This encourages abandonment of inhibitions and can lead
to alarming mood swings and even depression. In time casual
drinkers can become alcoholics and quickly lose control
of their lives. Alcohol has a reputation for breaking up
families, destroying marriages and encouraging violence
and general disorderly behaviour. Alcohol is now banned
from football games.
buy the lie. Don't get sucked into the emerging
trend that accommodates bars and clubs in the lifestyle
of the modern
Christian teenager. What's wrong with being different and
finding out what really pleases God? Let God keep you safe.
give the impression it's cool to smoke. Nothing could be
further from the truth. Most smokers are drug addicts.
Smoking is dangerous
- the terrible facts can be read on the following pages.
Crossing the road can be dangerous, but that's something
we have to do. Deliberately choosing to damage your heath
is stupid in the extreme. If you have access to an online
computer surf to these websites and discover the full facts
about the dangers of smoking and the serious effects of
environment tobacco smoke: www.tobacco.org and www.smoke-free.ca
start smoking when they are in their teens. There are various
reasons for this - none good. Perhaps they need to be
accepted by others their own age (peer pressure); or they
want to appear more grown up (whatever that means! ); maybe
they just want to boost their image by impressing their
friends with cool film star poses and slick ash-flicking.
reasons, starting to smoke is a reckless decision. Please
don't. The most recent discoveries about smoking have shown
that its effects are twice as bad as previously supposed
and that passive smokers are particularly at risk. No matter
what way you look at it, there's absolutely nothing cool
about damaging your body and making your hair, clothes
and home stink.
Smoking is an
antisocial activity that affects nonsmokers. No right-thinking
person wants to be anywhere near cigarette smoke. A cloud
of cigarette smoke billowing behind a smoker in a shopping
mall could trigger unpleasant breathing difficulties in
an asthmatic walking nearby. But how many smokers think
A national survey
has shown that cigarette smoke is capable of causing asthma
attacks in 83% of asthma sufferers. A spouse may develop
serious lung disorders after living for years with a smoker.
Many people suffer from a variety of chest complaints which
are made worse by so-called friends at work who indiscriminately
revealed that a significant number of teenagers start smoking
because they follow their parents' example. You may know
someone who has been influenced in this way or perhaps
you have struggled with this problem yourself. Adults and
older brothers and sisters can set both good and bad examples
for young teenagers. Smoking parents who punish their children
for smoking have no authority. They are wasting
their time. Teenagers are not impressed by parental hypocrisy.
They won't listen to a mother or father who tells them
they are grounded and then walks off and lights up. Some
of your friends at school who are treated this way will
just make greater efforts to conceal their dangerous habit.
adults can lead by example it is unlikely they will have
effect. "Do as I say, not as I do" has never
helped to convince anybody. For example, according to a
disillusioned teenager at a local high school, a policewoman
and principal who were in the middle of warning a class
about the dangers of drugs (including cigarettes) were
forced into confessing that they were smokers themselves.
(It is worth mentioning that on another occasion the same
policewoman told a class of 14-year-olds that drugs were
sometimes hidden up smugglers' "*%#es ".) So,
what's the point when professional adults can't lead by
parents smoke. Don't get frustrated with them too quickly.
Try to understand that they are addicted to the drug nicotine which
they take into their lungs every time they inhale cigarette
smoke. Regular smokers find it hard to stop smoking because
of the effects of nicotine. Nicotine is absorbed into the
bloodstream and within a very short time reacts with chemicals
in the brain. This in turn causes various sensations which
eventually make the smoker crave another cigarette ...
and another, and another, and another.
regardless of their genuine drug addiction, there can
be no doubt
that some parents shamelessly neglect their own health
and that of their children. They selfishly disregard the
mountain of evidence against smoking and, in effect,
switch off the voice of their conscience. Compromised by
their addiction they ignore the damaging effects of their
cigarette smoke on their children's bodies. Adults are
often seen smoking around babies and children. It should
be noted that cigarette smoke in the home is particularly
dangerous. (There are smokers who considerately smoke in
private, although research has shown that going to another
room is not particularly effective. See the above websites.)
The time is surely coming when smoking will be a private addiction.
If family members
smoke when you are nearby, or if they are trying really
hard to stop (and for some it can be a serious struggle),
why not share these facts with them. You've got nothing
to lose. Friends at school who smoke or are thinking about
starting would also find the following information helpful
- if you could ever get them to read it!
And most importantly
- PRAY! Cigarettes kill. Pray for those you love who smoke,
and be patient. It is often very hard to stop smoking.
If you smoke, the following facts will help you to stop.
If necessary talk to your parents and your family doctor.
If your parents are unable to fully support you because
they smoke themselves (compromised), be sure to share your
problem with the pastor of your church or a mature Christian
- a youth leader perhaps.
read carefully the following statistics about smoking.
- About one
billion smokers world-wide go through five trillion cigarettes
each year. The cost in lives and health care is a global
- Almost one
third of the entire UK population smoke.
- Over 70%
of smokers have tried at least twice to quit smoking
- Smoking kills
more people per year than heroin addiction, alcohol,
cocaine, crack, suicide, murders, fires, car accidents
and AIDS all put together. Over 100,000 people die from
smoking every year - that's about 300 people a day.
contain carcinogens, carbon monoxide, irritants and nicotine. Carcinogens cause
cancer. Carbon monoxide damages the blood and
reduces its oxygen content. This in turn effects the
blood supply to vital organs. Carbon monoxide is
found in car exhaust fumes. It is deadly. Red blood cells
absorb this lethal poison 200 times faster than oxygen. Irritants cause
narrowing of the airways and paralysis of cilia, hair-like
cells that help our lungs stay healthy. This paralysis
prolongs the time the smoker is exposed to carcinogens
and ultimately creates a stubborn stagnant mucus. This
can lead to distressing illnesses such as emphysema. Nicotine is
the drug that makes people crave cigarettes. It causes
addiction. A smoker is addicted to smoking because of
nicotine but dies because of the effects of various poisons
found in tobacco, such as tar and carbon monoxide.
- A young teenager
smoking for the first time damages his or her body within
just 10 seconds.
- There are
known to be over 4000 chemicals present in cigarette
smoke. Some are very poisonous indeed and others are
powerful irritants. Together they very quickly attack
the delicate tissues found in the mouth, throat and lungs.
These chemicals are soon carried around the body putting
various organs at risk, such as the kidneys and bladder.
are addictive: "The compulsion to take a
drug on a continuous basis, in order to experience its
effects, or to avoid the discomfort of its absence" (The
World Health Organisation's definition of an addiction).
In cigarettes the drug is nicotine. All regular smokers
have a drug problem because of nicotine reacting with
chemicals in the brain. Many smokers who have suffered
serious damage to their bodies, losing legs or feet for
example, are unable to stop smoking. Such is the power
- The following
poisons are found in cigarette smoke: acetone (paint
stripper); hydrogen cyanide (poison once used
in gas chambers); methanol (rocket fuel); ammonia (floor
cleaner); arsenic (lethal poison); dimethylnitrosamine (cancer-provoking); phenol (poisonous
solvent); naphthalene (mothballs); butane (lighter
fuel); cadmium (component in a car battery); DDT (insecticide); carbon
monoxide (poisonous gas in car exhaust fumes). Cigarette
smoke contains many cancer-provoking chemicals banned
from the workplace by British Health and Safety Regulations.
- Smoking is
known to cause cancer of the mouth, voice box, gullet,
breast, windpipe, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix.
Smoking causes heart attacks, angina (poor supply of
blood to the heart), high blood pressure, brain hemorrhage,
gangrene of legs and feet, strokes, bronchitis, emphysema,
peptic ulcers, heartburn, impotence and even a type of
- Smoking causes
7500 miscarriages a year, premature labour, stillbirth
and an increased risk of the baby's death within the
first few weeks of life.
- Only 14%
of women manage to give up smoking during pregnancy.
- A staggering
95% of people with chronic bronchitis are smokers and
almost all patients with throat cancer are smokers. 80%
of deaths from chronic bronchitis, emphysema and lung
cancer are due to smoking. 25% of coronary heart disease
is due to smoking.
- Those who
give up smoking are up to 8 times more likely to develop
lung cancer than nonsmokers - even after several years.
- Cigar and
pipe smoke are far stronger than cigarette smoke and
although not normally inhaled directly they still cause
cancer of the lip, tongue, mouth and throat.
- Smoke in
the air is actually more poisonous than smoke inhaled
by smokers. Avoid smoke when possible and if necessary
politely ask smokers to smoke somewhere else. You have
a right to request unpolluted air space. In the United
States children have been taken from their parents because
of the high risk from cigarette smoke.
- Smokers are
significantly less likely to collect their pension. Studies
show that 40% die before they retire.
is a waste of money. The average smoker burns away
per year. It is possible for couples to go through over £2000
worth of cigarettes in a year (£20 per week each). This
is a shocking waste. Sometimes children have to do without
or, in an instance known to the author, lend their smoking
tobacco industry spends £100 million a year promoting its legal
killer drug. In contrast, the Government spends over £4
million a year warning people of the dangers. To make
matters worse, the Government hauls in £16 million A
DAY in tobacco tax! Money or health?
diseases cost the NHS an estimated £1.5 million a day,
or about £550 million every year (Source: Quit Smoking by
Dr. Chris Steele).
to teenagers and children
- Young people
whose parents smoke will likely become smokers themselves.
Even if they don't many of them will suffer from meningitis,
chest infections, asthma, aggravated colds and even leukemia
- all through inhaling their parents' cigarette smoke.
whose parents smoke are 7 times more likely to smoke
than children whose parents don't. That 's what a bad
example can do.
- 75% of children
or teenagers who smoke have at least one parent who smokes.
- If both parents
are average smokers in the home, their children who breathe
in their smoke (passive smoking) will smoke what amounts
to 60-90 cigarettes in just one year. This should be
a criminal offence.
it is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 16 it
is estimated that under 16s spend tens of millions a
year to maintain their smoking addiction.
- 94% of teenagers
are addicted to tobacco after smoking just 4 cigarettes
and 75% of all smokers are addicted to nicotine before
they are 18.
- It is estimated
that approximately 130,000 people under the age of 16
start smoking in the UK each year, and things are getting
worse, especially among girls. In Northern Ireland (where
this work was written), where tobacco causes a quarter
of all premature deaths, 31% of 15-year-old girls
carried out in 1995 revealed a significant link between
cot deaths and smoking. If both parents smoke, a baby
is 5 times more likely to die.
to ban smoking
- 1994 experts
released the findings of the longest, most extensive
study ever undertaken into tobacco use. The report -
the result of 40 years of research - revealed that the
health risks from smoking are now twice what earlier
studies had shown. Smoking is now clearly linked
to 24 FATAL diseases and complaints causing the
death of a smoker every ten seconds. Professor Richard
Peto, a leader of the study team, said: "Our new
study provides details as to exactly what diseases the
smokers are dying from, but it's the grand total that
really matters. It now seems that about half of all regular
cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their
present Government (1997) has been repeatedly criticised
not doing enough to combat smoking addictions. Besides
collecting revenue from tobacco tax, it has stubbornly
refused to ban tobacco advertising and still allows killer
drug sponsorship by tobacco companies. "It cannot
be emphasised often enough how dangerous smoking is.
The evidence against tobacco continues to grow. We need
a rethink from this Government which is still negotiating
with the tobacco industry. Stopping smoking cannot just
be left to health education" (Dr. Jane Wilde).