The process of socialization of individuals in society as they grow determines the extent to which they will be able to handle the issue of peer pressure whether as youth or when they finally become adults. This is attributed to the fact that most individuals relate the issue of peer pressure to the youth ignoring the fact that it could be carried on to adulthood. It is a decision made to conform and stay in a certain class that we form amongst ourselves.

Peer pressure is the influence exerted by a peer group or an individual encouraging other individuals to change their attitudes, values or behaviours in order to conform to group norms. Peer pressure is not always a bad thing because peer groups can actually have a very positive influence on individual’s behaviour. For some adults, a peer group can be a source of security, a learning opportunity and a source of encouragement among others. The difference between negative and positive peer pressure is the impact it has on the person. While most forms of influence don’t necessarily feel comfortable for the person on the receiving end, the outcomes of the influence are likely to be mostly positive. Positive peer pressure results in a person feeling better, healthier or happier. Negative peer pressure on the other hand, results in people feeling unhappy, unhealthy or uncomfortable. People give in to peer pressure because they want to be accepted and fit in a group. Conformity may create problems when peers influence each other to participate in deviant activities.

Decision making – However the pressure, it all depends on our decision on whether or not to take or allow it be a part of our lives. Decisions are important to carry out daily tasks as well as professional tasks. A decisive person is very successful in life. He or she is able to reach set goals. A weak decision can be a disaster. A person who vacillates while taking decisions and is not firm about them cannot be successful. Decision making is the selection of a course of action from among alternatives. From a psychological perspective, it is necessary to examine individual decisions in the context of a set of needs, preferences that an individual has and the values they seek. Decision making process is regarded as a continuous process integrated in the interaction with the environment as per cognitive perspective.

Peer pressure and decision making – Many adults are unknowingly making decisions based on peer pressure. Life altering decisions are made as to whom to marry, where to work, where to have children, what to do for a living among others. If one chooses an alternative lifestyle and makes their own rules for life, their choices are often met with resistance and frowns for approval. As a species that depends on socialization for survival, the fear of being rejected by others can be powerful enough for people to succumb to peer pressure in order to be accepted, often times with devastating results. When determining whether you are going along with peer pressure try to ask yourself some key questions to get to the truth that lies within yourself.

  Like it or not, whatever you do now, you picked it somewhere in life, good or bad (positive or negative). I want us to look at some of the negative effects of peer pressure, in this case Smoking. Many of us who smoke picked the habit somewhere in life, maybe in school, from friends (sometimes even family) or in our neighbourhood. Most of the people who smoke are aware of some of the harmful effects of it, so the question is why do they still do it? Now, I promise not to bore you with all the medical talks, but I want to share with you some of the concerns associated with smoking and I will be focusing on the effects on the young and how it affects your life which is in front of you. So my goal is to expose you to the dangers and that at the end of this, you will see that the smoking habit is really after your life and wellbeing.

What are the risks of smoking?

The fact that smoking is legal doesn’t mean that it’s not harmful, or that it is less harmful than illegal drugs. In fact, smoking causes 90% of drug-related deaths.  Smoking is legal because it was already widely used and widely socially accepted before the health risks became understood. Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death and disease in Nigeria.  Each year, smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Nigeria and costs Nigeria $12.5 million in social and economic costs.3 Half to two-thirds of smokers will die early as a result of smoking, and smokers who die because of smoking lose on average about 13 years of life.

Sometimes people believe that a certain type of tobacco — for example, loose leaf rolling tobacco — is more natural and healthier than manufactured ‘tailor-made’ cigarettes. This is wrong. Inhaling smoke directly into the body is harmful, no matter what type of tobacco someone is smoking. Smoking roll-your-own cigarettes results in the same levels of cancer-causing chemicals in the body as factory-made cigarettes.

The negative health impact from smoking grows over time, but problems start early.5 Adults who smoked during adolescence can have lungs that never grow to their potential size or perform at full capacity. Research into young smokers’ shows that problems, such as early warning heart disease, and damage to the aorta (the artery that carries blood to many internal organs), begin at an early age. Young people who smoke, or who are exposed to second-hand smoke, can develop breathing conditions that are so serious that they are diagnosed as asthma. Each cigarette causes inflammation and cell damage inside a person’s body.The physical health risks of smoking are better known, but evidence is growing that smoking also negatively impacts one’s mental health.

Smoking poses many health risks, which includes:

Smoking is the largest cause of cancer in Australians, even though only one in five adults smoke – for example, smoking is the cause of around 90% of lung cancers.

Smoking is also the major cause of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, pharynx, larynx (voice box), tongue, lips and salivary glands.

Smokers are 2–4 times more at risk of developing heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks, than non-smokers.

 Smoking leads to diseases of the blood vessels. This can result in people having strokes or needing amputations because part of one of their limbs has died.

Dangers of smoking and its effects in your life and future; As a young person, when you begin to see smoking as a threat to your life and destiny, you will fight it vehemently. Some of these dangers are: 

Smoking does not necessarily cause immediate death. Instead, smokers will often suffer from conditions and diseases that usually only effect the elderly. These can emerge at a younger age and last longer for smokers.

Smokers’ skin ages and wrinkles faster.

Smokers have an increased risk of eye diseases leading to reduced vision and blindness.

Smoking dangerously worsens the effects of diabetes and makes asthma more difficult to control.

Female smokers can experience disrupted menstrual periods. Male smokers are more likely to suffer impotence.

Smokers have a higher risk of several serious types of infections including meningococcal disease, a dangerous infection that more often affects younger people.

Smokers are likely to develop poorer mental health, particularly anxiety disorders and depression.

Smokers on low incomes often spend a substantial proportion of their money on cigarettes, making it harder to afford daily essentials like food.

Smokers spend more time off work sick, and can lose pay as a result.

 Smoking-related illnesses cause emotional suffering and financial hardship for smokers and their families.

Smoking and cancer; smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body:


Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)


Colon and rectum (colorectal)


Kidney and ureter



Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)



Trachea, bronchus, and lung

Smoking and other health risks: Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person’s overall health.

Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant. It can also affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for:1,2,5

Preterm (early) delivery

Stillbirth (death of the baby before birth)

Low birth weight

Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death)

Ectopic pregnancy

Orofacial clefts in infants

Smoking can also affect men’s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage.

Smoking can affect bone health.

Women past childbearing years who smoke have weaker bones than women who never smoked. They are also at greater risk for broken bones.

Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss.1

Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens that makes it hard for you to see). It can also cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is damage to a small spot near the centre of the retina, the part of the eye needed for central vision.


Quitting smoking cuts cardiovascular risks. Just 1 year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply.2

Within 2 to 5 years after quitting smoking, your risk for stroke may reduce to about that of a nonsmoker’s.2

If you quit smoking, your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years.2

Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for lung cancer drops by half.

You will be finally able to save some money and increase your livelihood.

Now, this QUITTING AND REDUCED RISKS list can go on and on. How? You might ask. Well, all you have to do is review all the negative effects, Yes, all those effects associated with smoking will not come near to you if you don’t indulge in smoking.

I hope you found this very educating and do endeavour to share the light with those around you who you care about, who are into this habit. All it takes is to know the right information about a thing, and that’s it. More at

Thank you.

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