Teen smokers blindsided by fumes

Even though smoking rates have decreased since the “glorified” days of the cigarette, many still fail to face the reality that smoking increases the risk of health-related issues. For many teens, smoking has become a form of escape from society’s pressures.

Most teenagers are aware of smoking’s long-term effects and tend to undermine the present-day health effects happening to them now, reports Young Women’s Health. If it weren’t for society’s high demands on appearance and acceptance, many teenagers might not have considered smoking.

One Bay Area high school student explains the attraction smoking and its use as a stress reliever: “When I smoke, I forget all my problems and stresses. I am in peace with everyone and everything.”  If it weren’t for society’s high demands on appearance and acceptance, many teenagers might not have considered smoking.

The notion that smokers are perceived as a “cool” hobby in which to engage in society, such as one seventeen-year-old girl who started smoking during her sophomore year. Even though she was raised in a loving household, she is a prime example of a teenager who has fallen into peer pressure. “Truly, smoking has helped me through a lot of tough situations,” said the South Tampa student. “As long as I don’t let smoking become who I am, I truly agree with what I am doing as long as it stays a part of my life and not my whole life.”

Teenage smokers believe they have control and manageability towards their actions, but in reality they are unable to realize that smoking will remain as an addictive habit reports Family First Aid. Only five percent of teenagers believe they will still be smoking in five years, but almost 80% of adult smokers started smoking under the age of eighteen.

A local oncologist, Dr. Eduardo Sotomayor, thinks education is the key in decreasing the number of teenage smokers. “I see directly the long term consequences of smoking. When I see patients with cancer of the tongue and many other types of cancers, I think that all this suffering for the patients and their families could have easily been prevented just by avoiding smoking.”

Smoking increases the risk of cancer as well as other diseases such as heart disease and chronic pulmonary disease. Bad breath, repulsing odor, stained teeth, and aging wrinkles are effects happening among teenage smokers presently. “By smoking at such an early age, you are damaging your body in a way that is irreversible,” advises Dr. Sotomayor.

Even with continuous reminders of dangers of smoking danger, teens continually ignore these alerts.  “It’s a personal choice,” said a fifteen-year-old-boy, who intends to become a future lawyer. “As long as it’s not distracting you from your responsibilities and stuff, it’s okay.”

 “Peer pressure and poor information of the risks of smoking are driving teenager to smoke,” reminds Dr. Sotomayor.

Education in schools and in the community would go a long way  to control the soon-to-be epidemic trend of teenagers in the U.S. Schools need to teach students the consequences of their non-healthy decisions and habits, whether it be smoking or other addictive substances. Our generation needs to wake up and reflect on the detrimental effects many have put on their bodies and start to take action.

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Teen smokers blindsided by fumes