Why kids start smoking

By: Addie Soucheck

Why kids start

Teens smoke for many reasons and often for the same reason as adults. 70% of people start smoking before the age of 18. Most kids/teens mostly start because their parents smoke, peer pressure, it is advertising, and they think that since everyone else is, they should because it is "cool".

Effects of teenage smoking

Short term consequences of teenage smoking include respiratory and non-respiratory effects, addiction of nicotine, and the risk of overusing drugs. Smoking at an early age can cause lung cancer, emphysema and many other diseases.

Smoking Statistics

As of 2012, 11.7% females and 16.3% males had smoked their first cigarette in high school. In Middle school, 3.2% females and 3.8% males.

Between 1997 and 2013 there was a 57% decline in the number of teenagers that smoke.

Nicotine makes tobacco use addictive

Nicotine in tobacco causes teens to become addicted much faster than adults because their body is not fully developed. You’re addicted if

  • You crave your cigarettes or other tobacco.
  • You feel nervous without your cigarettes.
  • You try to quit using and have trouble doing it.

What Smoking Does to Your Body

  • Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke takes oxygen from your body while many cancer-causing chemicals go in.
  • Your teeth and nails turn yellow and disgusting and your breath stinks.
  • You cannot taste or smell things very well.
  • Nicotine, the main drug in tobacco, causes your heart to beat faster and work less effectively. Nicotine is highly addictive.

Physical performance

Tobacco can affect youth activities and athletic performance. Tobacco narrows blood vessels and puts a strain on the heart; it also leads to lack of oxygen and shortness of breath. Smokers run slower and can't run as far as nonsmokers.


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