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Smoking Among Teenagers

Young Adults and Cigarette Smoking. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and many other illnesses. At least one out of five death in American society caused by disease directly related to cigarette smoking. The overall smoking prevalence in the United States has been reduced considerably over the past 20 years; however, there have been only minimal reductions in smoking prevalence among adolescents and young adults. Among college students, the prevalence of use of cigarettes is still about 35%. Although smoking among adolescents and young adults is often associated as a bad, but temporary habit, determinants of smoking among college students and the amount of harm it causes to their health and health of others are largely unknown. I once was asked a question for which I can’t find the answer even today. Shortly before writing this paper I did some research and asked a few of my friends the same question. Give me at least one good reason why you are ignoring the danger that you know about so well? Some say that they smoke to relieve stress from school. Others say it gives them something to do at parties. Some say they get an intensified sensation from mixing tobacco and alcohol. Some say they've tried to stop so many times but can't. Others say that their grandparents have smoked all their life and are still alive and healthy. Besides, dying of cancer in 40 or 50 years seems to them a long, long way off. And you never know-you could get hit by a truck first. To be honest, none of these answers really answered my question. Most of the young smokers try smoking for the first time in middle school. But they don’t smoke often until they turn 16 and get a car. To them, driving, music, and smoking Marlboro or Newport all go together. Their main light-up time is usually right after school. That's the best cigarette of the day. My friends and I belong to a generation of teens that have received more education about the hazards of tobacco than any generation in history. As kindergartners, alarmed by the dangers of smoking, we flushed our mothers' menthols. We have been shown the tricks cigarette makers used to seduce children. We have seen the anticigarette ads that use humor to prevent smoking. And we have seen stomach-turning photos of smokers' blackened lungs and ulcerated tongues. That kind of reminds me, this can happen to me, but does it really make me stop smoking? Does seeing fat people make you stop eating? You've got to do what makes you happy, and smoking makes me happy. Nothing can stop us from getting rid of something that we think to be just a bad habit, not even ruining health of other people that are around us. Secondhand smoke is harmful to the health of nonsmokers. According to John R. Garrison, secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and increases the risk of heart disease. This leads to about 53,000 deaths that are caused by cigarette smoke among nonsmokers in the United States. Secondhand smoke affects the health of adults and children who can not always protect themselves: “Children do not choose to live in smoke-filled homes, and nonsmoking adults can not control the smoky air they breathe at work.” Take for example Bucks County Community College, even though smoking inside of all the buildings on campus is restricted, nonsmokers still have to breathe the air full of smoke while walking along buildings’ entrances. Especially at the entrances to Penn Hall and Founders Hall large clouds of smoke are rising up from the mouths of young adults who are standing in a little groups that from far away look like ant - hills. Sometimes the amount of smoke in these areas is so large that it is hard to see a person that’s standing next to you. It also becomes very hard for people that do not smoke to get in or to get out from the building. I have noticed how some of them close his or her mouth, hold the breath and try to walk very fast, in order not to breathe the polluted air. I understand the problems that are caused by secondhand smoke and even though I also smoke I always try to find not too crowded place and than have a needed dose of nicotine. Many young adults and teenagers that do smoke often don’t realize the harm that they cause to their nonsmoking friends even though the cigarettes they smoke are always the best brands like Marlboro and Newport. Marlboro and Newport are two the most popular brands among young smokers. The companies that make these products are often blamed for their colorful ads and commercials that attract young adults to by these cigarettes. I personally think that this is wrong because the only people that do get attracted by these commercials and advertisements are teenagers of 12 to 16 years old that are still trying to decide weather or not they should star smoking. Yong adults, on the other hand, already made their choice and if they chose not to smoke then not one, even the most colorful and sexiest advertisement in the whole world would ever make them start. However, if they chose to smoke then no commercials or ads would be able to stop them from doing so. American Government is also trying to lower the percentage of young smokers by raising up tobacco tax. But it seems that it doesn’t bother young smokers more over the larger population of adult smoking have to deal with it. It seems like nothing in this world can stop young adults from smoking. Every year thousands of people in the United States are dying form lung cancer and related decease caused by smoking cigarettes. Even though the overall smoking prevalence in the United States has been reduced considerably over the past 20 years the percentage among the college students is still very high. Many people have been looking for a good answer why do young adults choose to smoke but unfortunately not many could find this answer. Their reasons why they choose to smoke are very different; however, none of them are real reasons. They think the antismoking commercials are corny and out of touch, especially those that tell parents to talk to their kids about smoking. Their parents criticize them smoking all the time, yet they still do it. And laws that punish teens and young adults for buying cigarettes only make smoking more attractive. Young adults ruin their health and health of their nonsmoking friends, family members and neighbors by making them breathe in polluted by the cigarettes’ smoke air. Finally, the decision to smoke is their choice. They just think the risks are worth taking compared to the enjoyment they get. They would much rather die at 65 and look back and say, “ I did what floated my boat”, than live to 95 and say,” I didn't do anything.

Word Count: 1169

 

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