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Smoking Isn’t Cool

Lets be real… smoking is gross. I mean, really, what’s good about it? Your friends might do it, you might think it makes you “cool,” it might give you a little buzz. But here’s what’s bad about it. It will:

  • decrease your physical fitness
  • increase your chances of getting cancer… no, not just lung cancer. Also throat, stomach, and bladder cancer
  • increase your chances of getting infections like bronchitis and pneumonia
  • increase your chances of getting sick
  • give you wrinkles
  • turn your teeth yellow
  • decrease your bone density
  • it could affect your sexual health… girls who are on birth control and smoke increase their risk of serious health problems, like heart attacks
  • give you bad breath
  • give you bad skin
  • make your clothes and hair smell bad
  • reduce your athletic performance
  • increase your risk of injury, and cause you to have a slower healing time
  • increase your risk of emphysema (breakdown of lung tissues)
  • increase your risk of heart disease
  • shorten your life by 10 years or more
  • cost you around $1,000 a year if you smoke everyday… imagine what you can do with $1,000!

That’s a lot of terrible stuff. So why do people do it?

Children and teens usually start smoking because they think it’ll make them look “cool and grown up,” or their friends peer pressure them into doing it. Kids who see a lot of smoking advertisements and see a lot of smoking in movies are also more likely to do it.

The sad thing is, most people who start smoking start as kids or teens. Studies show that among adults who smoke, 68% started smoking regularly at age 18 or younger, and 85% start at age 21 or younger. Everyday in the United States, around 3,900 children and teens try their first cigarette… about 950 of them will become regular, daily smokers, and half of them will ultimately die from it.

People who start smoking at an earlier age are also more likely to develop a severe addiction than people who start smoking later in life. They also have even greater health risks. Not that you should smoke at ANY point in your life, but you should know that smoking as an adolescent is even worse than smoking as an adult.

Once you start smoking, it’s hard to quit because of nicotine. Nicotine is an extremely addicting drug, and your body and mind can become so used to it that they need it to feel normal. Nicotine and all the other chemicals in cigarettes are POISONS. They break down your body and can kill you in high doses.

If you think that hookahs, e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco are all safer alternatives to cigarettes… you’re wrong. None of those things are any better for you than cigarettes.

Really guys, smoking isn’t cool. It’s dangerous and disgusting. In the U.S., 1 in 5 deaths is caused by smoking… that’s 20%. Do you realize how huge that is? Just don’t even try one cigarette… you don’t want to go there.

Smoking Hookah

Recently hookah bars have become popular among young adults and college students. This rise has caused some concern among business owners, law personnel, politicians, health administrators and of course, parents. But, what is all the hype? Isn’t hookah suppose to be healthier than smoking cigarettes? Aren’t there less chemicals in tobacco used for hookahs or even shisha? If there is no ban on hookah bars, then why is everyone getting worked up about it? It isn’t like they are selling weed, alcohol to minors, or porn.

Though this might be the thought process of those in support of hookah bars and smoking, there are health risks that weigh heavy on the minds of many who oppose this popular past-time.  For one, there may be less chemicals in shisha and flavored tobacco, but  the Mayo Clinic states that hookah smoke contains harmful compounds such as “tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).” Plus, hookah smoking is linked to lung and oral cancers just like cigarettes.

Even if you don’t smoke hookah that much, it has been indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that in the time (about 60 minutes) you finish smoking it is equivalent to burning through 100 cigarettes!

These health risks and information by health organizations seem to have some clout behind their argument opposing hookah bars. But, this startling information isn’t enough to deter some from partaking in hookah. Health on MSNBC.com reported that many supporters argue that there is social interactions and has cultural standing; they say that the general atmosphere is about hanging out with friends. What harm is there in this?

Both sides seem to have good points, but if you want to stay healthy and live long, you might want to rethink smoking hookah. To get a better understanding of what hookah smoking is and the devices used, please check out this article on eHow Health.

Time To Talk Turkey

In honor of Thanksgiving I thought we could talk turkey. Talking turkey is defined as follows, “to speak frankly and get down to the basic facts of a matter.” So lets talk turkey about smoking. My father smoked for over 60 years and after a long stay in the hospital a few years back he finally decided to quit. All his years of smoking have left him with a lot of health problems,the most severe being  his heart. Last year he suffered a heart attack and had to have a quadruple bypass as well as a valve replacement.  I do not want this to be you. So here are some facts to help you make a better choice before you head down that road.

When you use tobacco you are increasing your chances of getting cancer and other life threatening disease (stoke, heart disease and bronchitis). The chances are increased due to the fact that your body is still growing and the chemicals in the cigarettes affect your bodies normal development. Besides the poisons in cigarettes, nicotine is very addictive and can be very hard to quit. Smoking at your age can lead to more problems the older you get like wrinkles, gray hair, hair loss, and the inability to participate in activities because you can’t breathe. Most teens are not using tobacco products, but of the ones that are nearly a third of them will die from tobacco related diseases. These facts were found in Tips For Teens: Tobacco.

If you are a smoker and are thinking about quitting, TeenQuit.com might be helpful to you. Find the support you need to kick this habit and have a Happy Turkey Day!

Third-Hand Smoke

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Smoking is deadly. Second-hand smoke is deadly. Now something new has been discovered: third-hand smoke is deadly.

You may be thinking, “What in the world is third-hand smoke?” It’s what is left behind on objects from cigarette smoke, and yes, it is very dangerous. The New York Times recently ran an article  about this new hazard.

“Everyone knows that second-hand smoke is bad, but they don’t know about this,” said Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets in an elevator after going outside for a cigarette, he said, or in a hotel room where people were smoking. “Your nose isn’t lying,” he said. “The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: ’Get away.’”

If you think that opening a window or smoking outside will shield others from the toxins in a cigarette, you are wrong. Some of the chemicals left behind by smoke include, “hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid; toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic; lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006.”

This should not really be a surprise for anyone. Smoking is one of the most harmful activities around. Here is a timeless truth: cigarettes are bad for you! And if you smoke, they are bad for anyone who comes into contact with you.