ADHD and Nicotine

It only takes ONE! It only takes one puff of smoke from a cigarette for a person to start developing a nicotine dependency. Nicotine addiction has always been a rising health issue, but more recently it has become an alarming health issue for our younger adults. Young adults are being targeted by nicotine and vaping products, and are able to share such products with other students on school grounds.

Non Smoking Image SM 83289How does this affect your children who have ADHD? In a recent study done by
Duke University, results have shown that young adults with ADHD are at an increased risk of nicotine addiction. The study showed, “The very first exposure to nicotine might be more pleasurable or reinforcing for individuals with ADHD, which in turn may lead to higher rates of dependency” (Dr. Kollis pg.1).

After the study, the team followed the participants to ensure that none of the subjects initiated nicotine or tobacco use. However, what about your young adults at home? It is important that we, as parents, talk with them about unhealthy side effects, the long term effects, how peer pressure is going to happen and what to do when it does! It is important that there is an open line of communication, and that these talks are happening frequently at home.

Nicotine at an early age affects the growth and development of the body. Young adults are in the crucial stage of their lives. They are growing physically and developing important cognitive skills. By smoking at an early age, one is damaging the development of executive function. Executive function includes the skills of planning, prioritizing, organizing and more! These skills are already sometimes difficult to control for those with ADHD and become less controllable as one develops a nicotine dependency. Speak to your young adult about the dangers of smoking, and offer them ways so that they can say no!

Inhibitory control is the ability to stop, think, and then act. Play Attention can specifically help your child develop inhibitory control which is part of executive function. Helping your child to develop this type of control will better prepare them to think about the consequences you have discussed rather than impulsively taking that first cigarette. Call us today so that our specialists can discuss a customized program that can help you, your child, or your clients develop strong executive function and inhibitory control.