Americas Teens Up in Smoke
On every street corner in America, you will find a teen smoking. Even though a number of commercials and school orientations have given the effects of smoking, the kids feel they are invincible to the effects smoking can cause. Tobacco companies have targeted the youth, ages eleven to seventeen, because they are the future of their industry and very influential (Britannica online). Yes it is true; the future of America has been the focus of their progression. However, how can we have a healthy outlook on the future if 34.8 percent of our youth are inhaling five hundred chemicals into their bodies (Britannica online)? Society needs to focus on telling teenagers the numerous effects of smoking, so they can live a healthier life.
The effects of smoking have long been proven to destroy out bodies. The number one disease caused by smoking is cancer. Ola James husband died of lung cancer this past summer. She says Every time I see someone light a cigarette, I think of how sick Richard was and it breaks my heart. She has watched the one person who meant more to her than anyone else in the world, die from a disease that TV has advertised for years. Although a smoker for many years, Richard James might be alive today if he had quit smoking when he was young. Smoking can also cause emphysema, which is a condition of the lungs marked by distension and frequently by impairment of heart action.
Smoking has also been known to cause yellow stains on teeth, inflamed gums, periodontal disease, and other diseases of the mouth (Britannica online). With that in mind, who wants to have a cigarette hanging out of their mouth? Well the answer to that question can be answered in two words . . . todays youth. While no one really understands why teenagers take their first puff, whether its peer pressure or another reason, the fact is that they do. Obviously they dont have a high regard for their health. After repeatedly being told that smoking is bad, teenagers just do not seem to care.
Another problem with smoking is the effects it has on others around you. Studies have shown that second hand smoke is more dangerous than first hand smoke (askjeeves.com). It causes those around them to be more susecptable to getting respritory problems and cancer. Now the 34.8 percent of the youth are not only bringing themselves down, but they are bringing down the rest of the population with them. If teenagers continue to smoke while they are pregnant, it will result in low birth weights and/or severe birth defects. This is not making Americas future look to bright.
Although teenagers have been warned of the effects of smoking, they will continue to light up whenever and wherever they please. We as citizens must fight to make teenage smoking harder to start. We must make new laws, ensure that America follows these laws, and punish those who break them. I dont know who had it worse, teenagers fifty years ago who didnt know the effects of smoking, or teenagers today who do know the effects and just dont care. Smoking is doing nothing but harming the youth through diseases, and hurting those around them. If they knew more about the effects, then maybe they would not be so quick to start.
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