We are all aware that teen smoking is becoming one of the most leading and real issue faced by many countries especially in the Philippines. For others, smoking is a kind of offense or a crime. But for the teens, this is just some sort of relaxation. Teens who start smoking as their habit can contribute their self in the increasing numbers of adult smokers in the future because young people are especially vulnerable to the pressure to start smoking. There are many reasons why young people smoke: lack of information about smoking; social pressure; peer pressure and many reasons to be discussed why youth choose to start smoking at their early ages. Smoking is found to be one of the causes of damage to nearly every organ system in the body. (The Effect of Smoking on Human Health, 2008). It is a major cause of heart attack and stroke. Smoking is a kind of addiction especially for teens where this habit is hard to break but it is their responsibility whether they will choose to continue or to stop smoking. Although you may not think about the risks every time you smoke, smoking is not only dangerous; it is life-threatening. Teens must know what side effects smoking can bring to us.
Teen smoking is a hazard to life and it has become very common. Teen smokers and even the non smoker must realize the effects of smoking, the reasons why teenagers smoke and how well do we understand smoking.
Effects of smoking
This is how smoking affects your body.
There’s no safe way to smoke, replacing your cigarette with cigar or pipe won’t help. Smoking affects you in many ways.( American Academy of Pediatrics,2010)
- Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke takes oxygen from your body while many cancer-causing chemicals go in.
- Your teeth and nails turn yellow and disgusting and your breath stinks.
- You cannot taste or smell things very well.
- Nicotine, the main drug in tobacco, causes your heart to beat faster and work less effectively. Nicotine is highly addictive.
Short-term and Long term Effects of Smoking
Short-term effects of smoking includes: coughs, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, and more frequent respiratory illnesses. Teens who exposed to second hand smoke has the possibility to have asthma, infections on the lower respiratory, rates of ear and eye infection are higher .This is why smokers often suffer shortness of breath and worrying coughs. They often tire quickly during physical activity.
Long term effects of smoking includes cancer of the lungs and other part of the body and if smokers have wounds, it will not recover quickly compared to non-smokers and it also affect the immune system which help us to protect form different diseases.
Can smoking affect our vision?
Smoking is not only bad for our body it is also bad for our eyes because smoking can lead to different eye infections. Smoking is linked to increase the hazard of having eye blindness and people who smoke have double the risk of developing cataracts compared with non-smokers. The effects of cigarette smoking like heart disease, cancer, are very familiar but many of us don’t know that sight threatening vision and eye problems also exist. Quitting smoking is an effective way to lessen the different possible eye diseases you may occur.
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How Cigarettes cause cancer?
The different substances in cigarettes can lead to many problems and especially can lead you to your death. When you inhale smoke, these chemicals enter your lungs and spread around the rest of your body. Smoking causes lung cancer. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers, and is the most common cause of cancer death. The good news is that, this health problem is preventable, by giving up smoking quickly. Smoking can also increase the risk of other cancers including cancers of thelarynx, esophagus, mouth, stomach, sinus and many more. Some of these cancers may lead to leukemia which will cause to death. It is also possible that smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer both in men and women, but whatever cancer you will have because of smoking, there’s still a chance or way to stop the risk of cancer in your body by giving up smoking, it’s the only way on how you can prevent of having cancers.
How smoking affects our throat?
Throat is also affected if you smoke. Heart disease, respiratory failure, lung cancer and throat cancer are equally dangerous. By exposing the larynx to the chemicals during inhalation will increase the risk of having throat cancer. Larynx is where the vocal cord is located which plays an important role in breathing, eating and speaking. Hoarseness of voice as well as difficulty in speaking, breathing and eating is an early symptom of throat cancer but you can immediately cure this if you stop cigarette smoking.
Do all teenagers know the effects of smoking?
Maybe they know or not or they just neglect it. Other teenagers are not educated well like the teens that came from a poor family or unable to go to school. They just know that if they smoke too much that is the time that will affect its body but they don’t know that every piece of cigarettes they smoke have the chemicals that affect its body and brain. These chemicals can cause immediate damage to the human body.
Smoking is awful
Teens who smoke are three times more likely than non smokers to use alcohol.
- Most teens would rather choose to have friends who do not smoke.
- You may not feel or smell smoke on you, but people who are with you can smell it.
- Kissing someone who smokes is like kissing an ashtray
- If you smoke, chances are people don’t want to be around you
Reason why teens start smoking
As we all known, smoking is perilous to our health. Smoking can cause cancers of the lungs, larynx, kidneys as well as death. Many teen smokers knows what’s the effect of smoking but why they keep smoking? There are several reasons why teens continue smoking in spite of imminence to their health.
The main reason of teen smoking is the Peer Influence. They smoke because their friends do as it give them a sense of belonging, many adult smokers start smoking in their teenage days. Friends are with you whether you are in ups or down of your life. But, we must know who to friends too. Because friends can make our life happier but sometimes they become a bad influence to your lifestyle. Some teens can’t just say no to their friends. As a teenager we must learn how to say no to prevent scuffle of priorities and sometimes to prevent bad habits.
Family Problems is another reason, not all teenagers came from a happy or stable family. Some teenagers are abused by their parents or parents who are separated or it’s either the both of them who has the problem that cause its broken family. Because of the problems at Home, teenagers may start smoking as a sign of resentment. They want to show to their parents that they are rebelling because of them, so they start smoking.
Parents can influence their child to start smoking. in the way that their child see them smokes. Their child or teens may think that smoking is a good habit or a sign of being mature because their parents do. Parents should teach their child good habits but as their child see their bad habits; it is possible for the parents to have their child with a bad habit too.
Boredom and Image. Boredom might be the reason why teenagers will start smoke because not all teenagers are involved on any sports or any organizations in their schools. That’s why they get bored at home and nothing else to do but to watch television, taking care of their siblings or go online and playing computer games. Because of this everyday’s piece of work they decided to do something new that will excites them. Smoking seems to be the answer. Because some teens think that if they smoke they will appear cool for others. They believe that it improves their self-image because nowadays to have a cool self image to others is important for many teenagers.
And lastly, Stress. Stress is said to be one of the reasons why teens start smoking, it only means that teens think smoking can release stress and can relieved their weariness. That’s why the more teens feel stressed the longer they will smoke. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have higher levels of stress in life. Therefore, it is necessary to quit smoking to avoid some health issues that can arise from stress and fret.
What I would like to do in this article is help us, as a teenager, to understand why so many teenagers start smoking. If we understand why teenagers start smoking, chances are we will not smoke. This research will provide us enough information that will enable teen smokers to discourage in using cigarette. Also, the result of this study will educate readers and enlighten the information about the negative effects of smoking to our health.
According to Ginzel, M.D.(2003), each time you take a puff on a cigarette, you inhale 400 toxic chemicals like
- Nicotine (A drop of pure nicotine can kill.)
- Cyanide (a deadly poison)
- Benzene (used in making paints, dyes, and plastics)
- Formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies)
- Acetylene (fuel used in torches) and Ammonia (used in fertilizers)
People around smokers (Second hand smoke)
Second hand smokes is define as the smoke breathe out by a smoker, which inhale by a non smoker. Even if you don’t smoke, second hand smoke can also affect a non smoker health just by inhaling this kind of smoke. Smokers can implicate non smoker’s health just by being around them. Furthermore, the more you are around smoker the higher instance of having smoking-related disease. Second hand smoke affects the health as you inhale them, it means this smoke doesn’t just impact e teenager’s life in the near future in fact; it can affect the health right now.
For example, a healthy child having his/her singing career who inhales second hand smoke could have nagging coughs and colds as nuisance for him/her. There are many reasons of smoking but effects of smoking to humans are the same which is to damage every organ in the body.
Third Hand Smoke
You may not see nor feel it, but smoke clings to hair, walls, beddings, carpets, dust, hair, skin, and furniture which is called third hand smoke. Even if you do not smoke, third hand smoke is also dangerous because it could be responsible for many health problems, including asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Third hand smoke can’t be eliminated just by opening windows, using fans or air conditioners, removing dampness from rooms or constraining smoking to only certain areas of a home. The only way to protect non smokers from third hand smoke is to create a smoke-free environment or smoke in public places where people are far away from you.
Population of Teen Smokers
Teen smoking cigarettes a hazard to life have become very common. The number of teen smokers is getting larger and larger every day just because smoking becomes a growing trend in the youth community. Smoking has many short term or long term effects on its users. Many adult smokers start while they are still teens and still continue and decided not to stop it. Smoking is a very addictive habit especially for the teens, there’s no other way to prevent these harmful effects but to stop cigarette smoking.
Facts About Teen Smoking
Cigarette smoking is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. (World Health Organization, 2014)
- Teen smokers are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety disorders and depression.
- 1 of 5 teenagers who are addicted to cigarettes smokes 13-15 a day.
- 90 percent of smokers began before the age 21.
- Smoking can age skin faster, second only to the effect sun exposure has on giving premature wrinkles
- On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than non smokers.
Benefits of quitting smoking for teenagers
Quitting smoking can be a very big help to your lifestyle and especially to your health. As a teenager you still have a time to quit smoking, for you to gain your healthy lifestyle again. The sooner you quit smoking, the more you have the confidence that the risk of getting cancer will be lessened or if you have some serious diseases it is possible that it will heal faster because of quitting smoking. You are no longer prone to smoking- related disease if you stop smoking and if this happen you will enjoy your life without worrying and you will have more time for your loved ones. Maybe 2 in 3 teen smokers want to stop smoking because of the problems they have right now. Some people can’t give up easily; the most important aspect on giving up smoking is determination. At the end, you’re the only one who will decide whether you will stop smoking or not because it is your own body who will experience different illnesses.
For teen smokers, it is important to remember some things that will help them hamper their bad habits. Maintaining to have a good health of your family, friends and loved ones are the best motivator for you to quit smoking. Here are some health benefits when you quit smoking:
- It will helps you breathe easier
- Quitting smoking will make your lifespan longer
- Ex-smokers is possible to have wither teeth
- Sense of smell and taste will improve if you stop smoking
- Stop smoking for younger and healthy skin
- Stop smoking to have more energy for your work, sports, friends and other activities.
- Quitting smoking to protect your loved ones from third hand and second hand smoke
Teen smoking is a hazard to life and it has become very common. Smoking can affect not only a smoker’s health even the non-smoker around him/her. Non smoker are suffering from different illnesses like nose and eye infections, coughs, colds and headaches. It is because of second hand smoke they inhale, even if teen smokers think that smoking can relieved stress and perceived that it helps them to relax, they don’t know that many chemicals from cigarettes are coming inside to their body, there are many negative effects of smoking which can cause damage to your health and it is not only a health threat for the smokers, but for the non smoker too. Smoking distracts many people and it’s because of their unhealthy habits. Smokers should quit, stopping the increasing numbers of smoker and for us to have a healthy environment.
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