Everyday 3,000 children start smoking, most them between the ages of 10 and 18. These kids account for 90 percent of all new smokers. In fact, 90 percent of all adult smokers said that they first started smoking as teenagers. These statistics clearly show that young people are the prime target in the tobacco wars.
Smokers say they need to smoke because it makes them feel good and more relaxed. It helps to concentrate more and feel at ease. Or, they may just need to smoke because it’s so addicting. Despite these statements, the advantages and disadvantages just don’t compare. One of the largest health disputes right now and for a prolonged period of time, has been smoking. No one seems to be doing much about the issue and the people that don’t care the most and should, are the smokers. The smokers are the one’s who need to know how bad it really is. It seems the non-smokers are the people who oppose against this topic because they are affected by it too.
Passive smoke, or second hand affects the non-smokers too. Tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, including 200 known poisons. Every time someone smokes, poisons such as benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide are released into the air, which means that not only is the smoker inhaling them but so is everyone else around him. Many studies now show that this secondhand smoke can have harmful effects on nonsmokers and even cause them to develop diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease. Secondhand smoke has an especially bad effect on infants and children whose parents smoke. A number of studies show that in their first two years of life, babies of parents who smoke at home have a much higher rate of lung diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia than babies with nonsmoking parents.
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs. Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined! Nationally, smoking results in more than 5 million years of potential life lost each year. Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents—the decision to smoke cigarettes.
Nicotine is a very addictive drug. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Within seconds of taking a puff of smoke, nicotine travels to the brain. It tells the brain to release chemicals that make you want to smoke more. Quitting is hard. Usually people make 2 to 3 tries, or more, before finally being able to quit. Studies have shown that each time you try to quit, you will be stronger and will have learned more about what helps and what hurts. Anyone can quit smoking. It does not matter about age, health, or lifestyle. The decision to quit and your success are greatly influenced by how much you want to stop smoking.
How do we stop the future of America from smoking? Here are three things that the experts recommend. Try to convince the children that smoking is not cool. Talk to these kids at a young age about the dangers of smoking. Identify family members who smoke and ask them to stop.
Children are the most valuable commodities we are given in life. We need to try and educate them while they’re young to be independent thinkers and to not be swayed by the tobacco companies who are trying to take advantage of their mind and body.