As the number of young people who smoke cigarettes is climbing to new records, we have good reason to be alarmed . According to recent studies, “each day 6,000 children under the age of 18 start smoking. Of those, 2,000 will keep smoking. That is 800,000 new teen smokers every year” (teenhelp.com, retrieved 1/ 26/2014). Even more alarming, most smokers begin before they even reach 21.
Here are 7 reasons why teenagers must quit smoking before they reach the age of 25:
1.) Quitting is difficult. Quitting is actually bad for the bodies of regular, heavy smokers. Yes, you heard it right: quitting is BAD. For a heavy smoker, the body system is so used to having tar and nicotine inside that a sudden break can make them feel ill. It is better for them to reduce smoking gradually before totally quitting. However the better option is, just don’t smoke.
2.) Teenagers who smoke cigarettes are more likely to be intoxicated and do drugs. According to the Surgeon General, “teenagers who smoke are three times more likely to use alcohol, eight times more likely to smoke marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine.” (Report of the Surgeon General, 2012)
3.) Other people think smoking is not cool. People don’t want to inhale second hand smoke, so please stay away from smoking.
4.) There’s a higher risk for lung disease. You’re too young to smoke and your lungs have not fully developed yet. Smoking greatly increases the risk for lung disease. You don’t want to die early, do you?
5.) It will make you ugly. Smoking ages skin more rapidly, and the skin damage induced by smoking is second only to the effects of sun exposure giving premature wrinkles.
6.) You’ll catch bad breath. Now that’s disgusting. Smokers’ breath smells like ash trays.
7.) It’s a big turn-off. Smokers are more likely to do drugs and alcohol, create damage to skin and physical appearance, have bad breath and increase the chance of dying early. Do you like any of the options from this list?
Now you are informed of the reasons why you should reduce smoking now and quit early, or better yet, do not even start smoking. I am personally in the process of quitting smoking. I have already reduced the amount of times I smoke, and I am at the point of smoking one stick per day. I play football, I eat healthy but I still feel disgusting because of the smoking. Smoking is not worth it. If you are a smoker, let’s quit together.
Neil Soria is a regional intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office
Surgeon General. (2012). “Preventing Tobacco use among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General”. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/.
“Teen Smoking statistics”. teenhelp.com/teen-health/teen-smoking-statistics.html. Copyright © 2014 – Teen Help. ( Retrieved on Jan 26, 2014).
“11 facts about teen smoking”. dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-teen-smoking. (Retrieved on Jan 26, 2014)