Teens Shouldn’t Smoke

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Gabriel Patricio-Hughes , Staff Writer

In my neighborhood, I see teenagers smoking on the street on a daily basis. I see them buying bongs, cigarettes, and hookahs. The people buying tobacco and nicotine are around 16-18 years old. They are still in high school. According to the CDC, “5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness.” This is a big problem in our nation. For these reasons and others, if you are a teen and considering smoking, don’t do it. 

Smoking at a young age can lead to addiction as an adult. Kids who start smoking in high school can still be smoking well into their adulthood. According to the CDC, every day in the US around 1,600 high schoolers smoke their first cigarette and nearly 200 of them start smoking every day. Out of the 1,600 high schoolers, 200 of the students that started smoking will still be smoking when they’re adults. As a young teen, I can understand the appeal of smoking tobacco, especially when I hear that flavorful tobacco is tasty. Based on the CDC, flavorful tobacco is more appealing to kids and it’s like the sweet taste of candy to a child. This method of advertising is brainwashing teens to buy more and more tobacco and remain addicted into adulthood. You should try to resist this method and remember that there are more cons to smoking. 

Furthermore, you can get lung cancer. Smoking will shorten your life and breathing, the leading cause of lung cancer is from smoking. According to the CDC, the leading cause of lung cancer in the US is cigarettes and it causes many deaths ranging from 1,300 deaths per day and up to 480,000 per year. Using things like cigarettes and pipes will kill you faster because in a study published by the CDC, using tobacco products such as pipes and cigars can increase the risk of lung cancer. Smoking tobacco can lead to other health issues because you are inhaling thousands of toxic chemicals because according to the CDC, tobacco smoke is made of a mix of highly toxic compounds and has 7,000 dangerous chemicals.

Lastly, you can be spending thousands of dollars and won’t even know it. The cost of one cigarette pack every day for a year is $4,745. The money wasted on cigarettes can be saved into a college fund or savings account instead. In addition, other expenses such as doctor’s appointments begin to accumulate when your lungs start to collapse as a result of long-term smoking. Just so you can get a better idea of the high cost of medical costs associated with lung damage, they charge $100 just for an appointment.

In conclusion, if you are a teen and considering smoking, don’t do it because smoking at a young age can lead to addiction, can give you lung cancer, and is a very expensive habit. One solution we can do to fix this problem is to have parents or guardians monitor their children more closely. Another way you solve this issue is for schools to bring in a person with serious smoking habits and speak to the kids about their experience. This can work because teens are more likely to listen to the person that has been affected instead of a teacher that is just giving them facts without experience. Try to imagine a world without smoking at a young age. Can you see longer lives being lived, maybe less pollution, and healthy forests? If so, the way we can get that is to stop teen smoking now.