Smoking is America’s favorite pastime. You love smoking and you know why you do it. It’s the reason why you get out of bed in the morning. It’s the reason you sit outside in -20 degree celsius temperatures. It’s the wedge of cheese at the end of long day at work. It’s also the stuff that you dream about. Who cares if it causes cancer, you’ve smoked it since you were 13.
pastime. You love it, you know you do.
On that note, let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons why teenagers choose to light up.
1. Peer Pressure:
Has a friend or classmate has ever pushed you into doing something you don’t want to do? If yes, you’ve experienced what is known as peer pressure. This is how many kids start smoking. If a popular kid offers you a cigarette, you might think that you’ll become popular if you do what he or she says. When a close friend starts smoking, you many worry that you’ll lose the friendship if you turn your buddy down.
Smoking a cigarette or a joint is seen as cool in high school. There is always a small group or a crowd that loves to hang out during smoke breaks. Others join in to fit in.
I remember how one of my friends tried to impress with me with his French inhale. This is a very “cool” technique that will prove you are a pot-smoking pro. Simply take a nice hit and then open your mouth (letting the smoke flow out slowly). Then, lightly inhale that smoke through your nose. If done right, the smoke will gradually flow out of your mouth and directly into your nostrils.
3. Parents smoke:
Teenagers are likely to smoke if they see their parents smoke. I’ve seen situations where parents would buy cigarettes for their kids or children steal cigarettes from their parents.
2,800 of premature deaths were linked to low birthweight, the result of mothers smoking while pregnant. Approximately 2,000 of the deaths were due to sudden infant death syndrome caused by secondhand smoke. Another 1,000 are due to lung infections. 250 die from burns caused by cigarette-produced fires. 14 children die from asthma.
4. Others do it
I’ve heard of the expression where it is alright as long as others do it as well. It is wrong when you’re the only one doing it. This applies to both cigarettes and joints.
Teenagers begin by having one cigarette and that’s all they plan on having. The nicotine in the cigarettes is addictive and that causes them to smoke daily.
I have heard this expression so many times. In fact I was offered something to smoke in return for a favour. The person was quoted as saying, “You’ll feel like you’re in heaven”. Then again Marijuana was not legal then.
7. Do not believe in consequences
Many teens do not see the consequences of smoking. They believe they are invincible. They even sleep through drug misuse classes because they are too straightforward.
Many buy into the fact that smoking marijuana is medicinal. They strongly use this as an excuse when asked the question.
9. Popular Culture
Popular culture has everything to do with influencing teens. The song “Because I Got High” is one good example.
Due to health hazards and rising costs, smoking is obviously viewed as unacceptable in American culture — any sort of “comeback” is impossible. But nicotine has always been a rebel’s drug. Ever since the likes of Humphrey Bogart and James Dean began flicking away spent cigarettes like calling cards, those on the fringes have followed.
Modern rebels, while less glamorous, are equally influential. Charlie Sheen debuted “Charlie Sheen’s Winning Recipes” onFunnyorDie today, in which he chain smoked and swigged “tiger blood.” Yesterday, model Kate Moss lit up the Louis Vuitton runway with a cigarette in hand, presumably in protest to tighter smoking restrictions in the U.K.
Many celebrity teens are not good examples, in fact they show bad influences on today’s teenagers. Lindsay Lohan is one of them. The mentality is that if Lindsay Lohan is having fun, why can’t other teenagers have fun too?
Smoking and tobacco use have decreased in the past few decades, but for those that use tobacco, the effects on their health are devastating. One in every five deaths each year is caused by prolonged smoking. Smoking and tobacco use not only cause cancer, but may cause other diseases like ventricular arrhythmias (sudden death when heart does not beat properly). So before you light up, think twice or maybe three times.