Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer.
Lung cancer accounts for approximately 1 of every 5 deaths each year.
The figures for lung cancer are high because smoking has increased in the younger generation (less than 18 years).
Although the findings of the National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey show cigarette use among high school students declined from 1997 to 2003, however, declining rates have slowed and have now leveled off (2003 to 2010).
Due to the dangers of cigarette smoking, the slow decline in teen smoking, and the increasing number of deaths due to smoking, it is imperative that information on teen smokers be disseminated to the public and steps taken to prevent smoking during the teenage years.
The following are pertinent facts taken from the current literature about teenage smoking and probable reason why teenagers smoke.
Fifteen facts concerning teenage smokers 1.
More than 6,000 persons less than 18 years try their first cigarette each day.
More than 3,000 of these become daily smokers.
The rate of first-daily smoking for adolescents, age 12-17 years and those of young adults, aged 18-25 years have now equalized.
At least 4.
5 million adolescents (12-17 years) in the United States smoke cigarettes.
Teenagers vastly underestimate the addictiveness of nicotine, and believe that they will not smoke in five years, however nearly 75 percent still smoke after five to six years.
Most continue to smoke throughout adulthood.
Smoking reduces lung function and lung rate growth.
Smoking causes early signs of heart diseases and stroke in adolescents.
Smoking decreases young people's physicality in terms of performance and endurance.
The resting heart rate of young adult smokers is two-three beats per minute faster than nonsmokers.
Smoking at an early age increases the risk of lung cancer 10.
Teens who smoke are three times more likely to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine than non-smokers.
A disturbing fact is that 17 percent of teens in 9th grade report smoking.
Most smokers begin in childhood or adolescence while those who graduate from high school without smoking are unlikely to smoke at all.
Eighty-five percent of people who begin smoking before age 19 become lifelong smokers.
The smoking rate among teenagers is equal to and, in some cases, higher than that of adults.
The earlier you start smoking, the more likely you are to develop long-term nicotine addiction.
Reasons for current teen smoking habits 1.
Peer pressure- The smoking rate among children who have three or more friends who smoke is 10 times higher than those who have no friends that smoke.
Teens are thus influenced by their peers and many cannot resist the need to fit in with the crowd.
Advertisements- although the number is reduced, scenes that show people smoking are still common in movies and television shows, often in a positive light.
This can be a major influence on the attitude toward smoking in children and adolescents.
Have parents who smoke- They see nothing wrong with smoking since their parents smoke.
Thy have not been told not to smoke.
Children whose television and music-listening habits are not closely monitored are more likely to drink, use drugs, and smoke cigarettes.
Neglected children, or children with absentee parents, are four times more likely to abuse drugs, drink, and smoke than children living with parents who were regularly present.
Willing to pay the high prices-A new generation of teens may be more accepting of higher cigarette prices because they didn't experience a time when a pack sold for less.
Use of unfiltered cigarettes called beedi or bidis from India.
- are hand-rolled, thin tube shaped objects of tobacco, wrapped with either tendu or temburni leaves.
There are flavored and unflavored varieties (chocolate, root beer, orange, lemon-lime, and others).
They are cheaper than cigarettes.
Many teens believe that bidis have less nicotine than cigarettes.
However, reports show that nicotine levels in bidis are 3 to 5 times higher than traditional cigarettes with twice as much tar.
Lack of community support-community campaigns to discourage smoking in homes schools, public places and marketing are not available.
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