Topic On Teenager Smoking Essay Research Paper

Topic On Teenager Smoking Essay, Research Paper This is a rearch essay done by me, Jacky Cheng. This research essay focus on the topic of teenger smoking.

Topic On Teenager Smoking Essay, Research Paper

This is a rearch essay done by me, Jacky Cheng. This research essay focus on the topic of teenger smoking.

Teenager Smoking

In this world today, smoking is rising rapidly. Teenagers at a young age start to smoke for a number of reasons. It is too easy today that teenagers will get addicted to cigarettes from the advertisements and wanting to imitate a character you have seen smoking. Cigarettes can be bought easily and teenagers get hooked on them fast. People in the Food and Drug Administration have tried to get kids to stop smoking for years, but the advertisements keep bringing them back and getting new customers all the time especially teenagers.

Smoking originated in the mid-1500s when European explorers arrived in the western

hemisphere and observed how Native Americans smoked the leaves of the tobacco plant in pipes. During World War II, doctors encouraged cigarettes to be sent to soldiers so they could smoke and relieve tension from fighting. But the tragedy back then was that, the technology and medical research were not as advanced as they are today. Therefore the public were not educated about the negative effects of smoking on their health, nor did they know the correlation between smoking diseases such as lung cancer, chronic lung diseases and other critical illness.

Every day in America, about 3,000 young people are becoming regular smokers. (www.nicotinefreeteens.org/Frames/Twars1.html) This is a disturbing news as we realize that youths may have been misguided on the effects of smoking. The reasons behind teenager smoking are money and peer pressure. In modern societies, youths have money to spend on more choices. Many would also try out different things, because of peer pressure. For instance, a person whose friends smoke is much more likely to try smoking, so is a person who has siblings or a parent who smokes. In some cases, this is because the person looks up to his or her family members or friends and wants to be like them. Sometimes young people smoke to fit in with “the crowd,” or they feel pressured into trying smoking. Feeling left out or being teased for refusing to do something are often strong motivators. However, young people may have overlooked that nicotine in tobacco is harmful and smoking is addictive.

Tobacco companies are mainly target teenagers of age13 and above. Each tobacco company needs 4,000 new smokers every day to replace the ones that have died or else the company will go out of business. Cigarette companies often try to portray smoking as sophisticated and glamorous, but the advertisements do not show the lethal effects of smoking. The reason why tobacco advertisements are aimed at youths is because if they smoke, they will become future customers of tobacco companies. These companies figured out that most people tend to smoke the same brand of cigarette throughout their life if they continue to smoke. Most teenagers begin their smoking habit in their high school years because during those times, they will have the opportunity to meet more friends, some of which may have influenced on them badly and encouraged them to start smoking.

Below is a survey between 1991 and 1998 in three high school classes in Canada, about the percentage of smoking.

1991 1994 1998Eight graders 14.3 % 18.4% 19.1%

Tenth graders 20.8% 25.4% 27.6%

Twelfth graders 28.3% 31.2% 35.1%

(”National Survey Results on Drug Use from the Monitoring the Future Study, 1998″, The University of Michigan)

As we can see from the results, the percentage of smokers has increased significantly overall. Even though our education system has improved, kids are still neglecting the bad side of smoking and doing what they want. From the statistic that shown on the above, teenagers today do not really care about their lives, they just want to have as much fun as they can get. They do not seem to have second thoughts of the future, instead, they just do what they want. This is really shocking because even students in the eighth grade are starting acquire the smoking habit which could only ruin their health. Many kids smoke because they are very curious and want to try everything they can. Eventually, kids living in this era are dealing with dangerous things. Many kids do not fully understand the danger of the situation; therefore, they are at risk of all the temptations around them. Ninety percent of all current smokers began their smoking lifestyle as teenagers (Centre for Disease Control (CDC), “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, A Report of the Surgeon General,” 1994). The statistics in a survey table show that teenagers who smoke have a few things in common: The lifestyles of teenage smokers usually not involved in school activities, such as drama clubs or sports teams. Due to the fact that the characteristic of teenage smokers do not like school very much and do not get good grades: one recent study showed that only 7 percent of high school seniors who had an A average smoked, while 46 of those with a D average smoked. (Jaffe, Steven L. P.35) Furthermore, most teenagers surveyed said they would prefer to date nonsmokers.

There is a reality behind the fact that now more teenagers are smoking, however, we are walking on the same paths of our elders. We are starting to go through the things that our elders went through, we will become like the old people that we see in coffee stores, smoking even when their health is threatening their lives. This is not a good sign, especially when we are taught and live in an advanced world.

In the modern world that we live in, many teenagers do not even think twice about what they are doing. They just want to have fun and they underestimate the power of addiction from cigarettes. They think that one or two would not kill them, so they will do it more and more. As long as they are happy, everything that they do seems to be right for them. This is when the trouble comes in. Later on, they will realize what they have got into.

Teenage smoking is found throughout the world. It can be found anywhere in any of the continents, as Since every country has a different legal system, smoking in some countries may not be controlled as hard as it is in some places. For example, smoking in Hong Kong is not really a big thing. The law says no cigarettes are to be sold to people under 18. But in Hong Kong, business is much more different than it is in Canada. People doing business are only doing it for one reason is money. They do not care about anything except for money, so even kids that are 10 or 11 years old can get cigarettes without any trouble. It is because owners of many little stores in Hong Kong, that are situated almost every other block, are normally poor, so they make it easier for kids to have access to cigarettes in order to increase their profit. Whereas in Canada, the store owners actually check customers’ identification documents before selling cigarettes. This is a very good phenomenon that people here would rather earn less money than disobeying the law. Also, in Hong Kong the entertainment level are much higher than in Canada, there are more places for entertainment crowded into a small area, so teenagers will tend to smoke more when they are having fun. In fact, many other countries’ view on teenage smoking is negative but in Hong Kong, they do not really care. The government in Hong Kong is enforcing stricter laws against smoking, so now all malls are smoke free and in many public transportation sites. (Interview with Samuel Lee, 17 years old). In other countries such as both South and North Korea, the law for purchasing cigarettes is the same as in Hong Kong. But there is one main difference, that there is a tradition that any young person cannot smoke on the streets while walking with people older than them, that sounds like a strict rule. But this does not mean that teenage smoking does not exist in Korea, it just says that teenage are not allowed to smoke in public places. In Thailand, there is no law against smoking so people are allowed to smoke whenever and wherever they like. U.S. News recently featured a discussion of the smoking issue with 20 teenagers from suburban Baltimore. The group consisted of ten boys and ten girls between the ages of 15 and 17. When asked why they started smoking, they gave two contradictory reasons: They wanted to be a part of a peer group. They also wanted to reach out and rebel at the same time. ” When you party, 75 to 90 percent of the kids are smoking. It makes you feel like you belong,” says Devon Harris, a senior at Woodlawn High. Teens also think of smoking as a sign of independence. The more authority figures tell them not to smoke, the

more likely they are to pick up the habit. The surprising thing is that these kids know that they are being influenced by cigarette advertising. If these kids know that this advertising is manipulating them, why do they still keep smoking? The ads are everywhere, especially in teen-oriented magazines, such as Rolling Stone and Spin. The ads also fuel some of the reasons the children gave for starting. They represent rebellion, independence, acceptance and happiness. These are all the things a young person, between childhood and adolescence, needs and desires. This type of advertising, on top of peer pressure, is the mystery behind the rise in adolescent smoking. Youths can buy cigarettes legally and have much more freedom in purchasing cigarettes than most of the other countries. As we can see, smoking is a very common habit and can be easily be found anywhere in this world. ( See appendix for interviews with Hillman Tong and Harmon Lee)

A quotation from a former surgeon general- Jocelyn Elders, “What is notable about tobacco use is that it consistently occurs early in the sequence of problem behaviors. When a young person starts to smoke or use tobacco, it is a signal, alarm that he or she may get involved in other risky behaviors. This is one of the few early warning signs we have in public health. If we can prevent tobacco use in the first place, we might have a big impact on preventing or delaying a

host of other destructive behaviors among our young people. ” (http://www.stat.org/)

Smoking cause health hazards. Some of the major ones are lung cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, kidney cancer and coronary heart disease. The smoke from a cigarette has a temperature 100-200 degrees C which is very hot. As smoke is inhaled through the mouth, it travels down The smoke is then travelled down into the pharynx and into the lungs and into the heart. After many years of smoking, the lungs will become black, filled with tar and mucous. This will normally lead to lung cancer when the cilia cannot eliminate foreign particles. Also when tobacco is smoked, it takes only eight seconds for nicotine to go from the lungs to the brain. Nicotine is a stimulant, it speeds up the body’s activities, particularly in the area of the brain, the heart, and the nervous system. Like other stimulants, it constricts the blood vessels, forcing the heart to work harder to pump the same amount of blood through the circulatory system. In fact, if there is less oxygen in the blood, brains cells die. Moreover, smoking creates two substances that are particularly harmful: tar and carbon monoxide. Tar is present in very small particles in cigarette smoke, but when the smoke cools, the tar solidifies in the lungs into a sticky brown or black mass. Tar causes many kinds of cancer and lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas produced when organic materials are burned where there is little oxygen. In fact, not getting enough oxygen makes your heart work harder that it has to. As a result, smoking can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. Indeed, smokers are two to three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease. (Jaffe, Steven L. P24)

These are some facts that I obtained from various resources:

Nine out of 10 regular smokers began using tobacco products before age 18.

The average teen smoker begins at age 13.

About 2/3 of teen smokers say they want to quit smoking.

Eighty-five percent of underage smokers purchase the three most heavily

advertised Brands: Marlboro, Newport, or Camel.

Each year more than 400,000 Americans die from a tobacco-related illness, the

number one preventable cause of death in the United States. More lives are lost

to tobacco than those caused by fires, alcohol, suicides, car accidents, AIDS,

illegal drugs, and homicides, combined. Most of these deaths occur in

adulthood, but the damages begin at the onset of smoking which in about 90

percent of the cases, begin at or before the age of 18.

An infant’s risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) increases 5 times if he or she is exposed to secondhand smoke in the room. Second

hand smoke also increases the risk of lung cancer and asthma.

Smoking in childhood or adolescence increases the risk of developing cardiac

disease the number one cause of death in the United States.

Young adult smokers are 1.43 times more likely to have a stroke than their

nonsmoking peers.

Smoking is linked to not only lung cancer, but also other respiratory problems

like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Children and adolescents who use tobacco have smaller lungs than their peers,

and therefore tend to be less physically fit than their peers.

Adolescents’ use of smokeless tobacco increases their risk of oral cancer and nicotine addiction.

Every day 3,000 children become regular smokers as a result of nicotine

addiction, and almost one-third of them prematurely lose their lives to a

smoking-related disease.

Tobacco use among teens is a public health issue that every candidate for public

office should address.

Anticancer Council surveys showed that 96 per cent of Australians supported the idea of government revenue from underage cigarette purchases

being spent on stopping children from smoking, Dr. Tonkin said.(www.theage.com.au/daily/980918/news/news 6 .html

There are some ways that you can protect yourself from peer pressure to do something harmful. Avoid parties where you know there will be alcohol or other drugs. Seek out friends who do not use these substances and stay away from people who do. Get involved in you community by joining clubs or local groups with activities that interest you, and you will be too busy to use drugs or alcohol. You will have a lot more fun, stay healthy, and live longer. And you will feel better about yourself because you stuck to your decision not to use tobacco and did not give in to what others may have wanted you to do.

In conclusion, it is necessary for teenagers do stop smoking. Smoking is bad and should not be brought into a child’s life. Although the government has already made laws against teenage smoking, the government should really enforce the laws even more firmly against teenagers those who encourage to smoke. There should have stricter penalties for those that sell cigarettes to minors. Although it is tough for teenagers to avoid the temptation of smoking provided in the society, they should be able to determine what is right and wrong in order to fight through those temptations. Help must be brought into our teenagers and try to free them from their addiction. It is proven by scientists and doctors that smoking can lead to death, so we must stop smoking. Another quote from Dr. Antonia C. Novello, US Surgeon General: says,”Quitting smoking represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.” Smokers should stop smoking as soon as possible they get any make better use of their lives. The fact is that smoking have no positive influence in our lives. How do we stop the future of all teenagers from smoking? Here are three things that the experts recommend. Try to convince your children that smoking is not cool. Talk to your kids at a young age about the dangers of smoking. Identify family members who smoke and ask them to stop. Children are the most valuable commodity we are given in life. Let’s try to educate them while they’re young to be independent thinkers and to not be swayed by the tobacco companies who are trying to take advantage of their mind and body. Remember, the majority of mature person do not smoke. The majority of teenagers do not smoke either. And if you want to stay healthy and strong, you would not either.

I also included a interview that I have done with a student from NCC about why and how he addicted to tobalco. And his views on his situation.

Appendix:

Interview with Hillman Tong (17yrs old), a student from NCC.

Question: When did you first start to smoke?

Answer: 13-14 years old.

Question: Who told you to smoke?

Answer: Friends.

Question: Do you think smoking is good?

Answer: Not good but not bad, nothing to do/ bored

Question: What are the bad things about smoking?

Answer: I know its bad for health.

Question: Do you think there is peer pressure involved?

Answer: Yes, so I can get into their group.

Question: Do you think a lot of kids smoke?

Answer: Yes. I see them, maybe they think its cool.

Question: Did you think of quitting?

Answer: No, don’t want to.

Question: What do your parents say?

Answer: They tell me not to smoke.

Interview with Harmon Lee (18yrs old), also a student from NCC.

Question: When did you first start to smoke?

Answer: I started to smoke when I was 12 years old

Question: Who told you to smoke?

Answer: A friend from school told me to try it.

Question: Do you think smoking is good?

Answer: I don’t think smoking is bad.

Question: What are the bad things about smoking?

Answer: Getting caught by NCC teachers

Question: Do you think there is peer pressure involved?

Answer: Sometimes I think there is peer pressure involved

Question: Do you think a lot of kids smoke?

Answer: Yes, I think a lot of kids smoke because of peer pressure

Question: Did you think of quitting?

Answer: I thought about it before. . . . . .

Question: What do your parents say?

Answer: QUIT

The two teenagers interviewed started smoking at a young age of 12 and 13 years old. Also, they are affected by peer pressure. Hillman admits that he smoked to “get into” a group. At that time in his life, he may have met friends who have a negative influence on him. Like Harman, some teenagers know that smoking is bad for their health but they still smoke. Perhaps it is because smoking helps them relax from the stress that is going on in their lives. As a result, many teenagers do not think about quitting, they only care about short- term results, which is getting themselves happy and do not look ahead to the long- term sufferings.

*** These are the Souces I used from for this research. ***

Bibliography

-E Cheng, J Chow. “Hazards of Cigarette Smoking.”

-Chemistry A Modern View January, 1994.

-www.drugfree.gatordental.com

-www.stat.org/

-www.nicotinefreeteens.org/Frames/Twars 1.html

-www.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/articles/0,3266,00.html

-Jaffe, Steven L. “Nicotine & Cigarettes.”

-www.theage.com.au/daily/980918/news/news 6 .html

-www.time.com

-”Trends in Cigarette Smoking in the United States.” Journal of the American

Medical Association, 1989, 261:1:61-65)

-Centre for Disease Control (CDC), “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, A Report of the Surgeon General,” 1994)

-Cummings, K.M. “The Illegal Sale of Cigarettes to US Minors Estimate by State,”

American Journal of Public Health, 1994, 84:2:300-302)

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