Is Cigarette Smoking In Teenagers A Serious Health Risk?

913 words - 4 pages

Is Cigarette Smoking In Teenagers A Serious Health Risk?The problem of teenage smoking has been a major worry because smoking during adolescent and childhood years can lead to many health problems. The American Lung Association reports that recent studies show that every day nearly six-thousand children below eighteen years of age start smoking, Of these, almost two-thousand will become regular smokers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released figures showing that:an estimated four and a half million teenagers are cigarettesmokers and that tobacco use in adolescence is also associated with awide range of health compromising behaviors such as carrying weapons,engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors, and using alcohol and other drugs. health compromising behaviors such as carrying weapons, engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors, and using alcohol and other drugs. Studies released by the CDC show that more than a quarter Denise Witmer (2005) reports that more than a quarter (28.4 percent) of high school students are current smokers, with male and female at equal rates. Current cigarette smoking prevalence use by race/ethnic groups was higher among white high school students (32.8 percent) followed by Hispanic (25.8 percent) and African American (15.8 percent) students. Both the American Lung Association and the CDC state that if current tobacco use patterns persist in the United States, an estimated 6.4 million children will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease, even though smoking is the leading preventable cause of death (Journal of American Medical Association,2004,vol.292:pg.558).Researchers speculate that many young people start smoking because of the glamorization of smoking on television, in the movies, and in advertisements. The CDC says that teens respond more to cigarette advertisement than older adults but there are other factors why teenagers smoke. One is that cigarette smoking is associated with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Another is that some teens, especially girls, see smoking as a way to lose weight. The most common reason for teens to start smoking is the believe that smoking will give them a better image like being cool, more attractive, or more popular. Then there are the addictive aspects of nicotine. Studies show that adolescents who smoke regularly can have just as hard a time to quit smoking as long-time smokers. Furthermore, the younger a teen begins smoking the more likely they are to become strongly addicted to nicotine.The American Lung Association states that cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence produces significant health problems among young people, including cough and phlegm production, an increase in the number and severity of respiratory illnesses, decreased physical fitness, an unfavorable lipid profile and potential retardation in the rate of lung growth and the level of maximum lung function. This will lead to an estimated four-hundred-forty-thousand Americans to die...

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