So if you have not tried smoking, don't try! If you have already started, stop now!
Have you ever tried smoking. Maybe your friends who smoke gave you a cigarette. Or maybe you thought it would be "cool." Yet your first puff was probably not pleasant. You coughed and your throat burned. You might have felt sick to your stomach or dizzy as smoke entered your lungs.
These reactions make sense when you consider what cigarette smoke does to your body.
Young people are more likely to smoke if they are living in households where a parent or an older brother or sister smokes. Nearly 90% of smokers start smoking as teenagers. Today, 20% of high school senior girls are regular smokers, compared to 16% of boys. According to a teen drug abuse survey, almost 66% of high school seniors have tried smoking at one time or another. Although still high, these numbers are much lower than the figures from 5 or 10 years ago. As young people learn what happens to smokers, they make the healthy choice. They choose not to start.
Smoking is Addictive
It takes only a short time to become addicted to nicotine. This is true of chewing tobacco and snuff, as well as cigarettes. If you are a smoker, you will know you are addicted when you find yourself craving cigarettes and feeling nervous without them. You will really know you are addicted when you try to quit smoking and can't. Quitting can be hard for addicted smokers, and it can take a long time. Often people must try several times before they succeed. The longer you smoke, the harder it is to stop.
Smoking is Unattractive and Unhealthy
Studies have shown that smoking is harmful to your health. Most people know that, but not everyone knows about how smoking affects what you look like and how people relate to you. Smoking causes bad breath and stained teeth. Smoking often makes other people not want to be around you. Even if you do not smoke, you may notice a strong odor of cigarettes in your clothes after being near someone who smokes.
According to an American Cancer Society survey, 78% of boys aged 12 to 17 said they do not want to date someone who smokes. Among girls, 69% said they preferred to date someone who does not smoke.
Coaches require that athletes not smoke. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen the bloodstream can deliver to the body. The result is that the athlete who smokes may not be able to swim or run as well as nonsmoking athletes.
The lungs of anyone who smokes do not deliver oxygen as efficiently as do the lungs of most nonsmokers. This is not only harmful to health, but can also result in poor athletic performance.
Nicotine is a harmful substance in tobacco smoke that can cause you to become dizzy and feel sick to your stomach. Not only that, but nicotine causes the heart to beat faster and work less effectively.
Many smokers develop an annoying cough. This is caused by the chemicals in cigarette smoke. These irritating substances damage the tiny hairs (called cilia) that line the lungs and help sweep dirt and waste products out. Depending on how much you smoke, your lungs become gray and "dirty," instead of pink and healthy.
Each time you take a puff on a cigarette, you inhale thousands of poisonous chemicals. Early warning signs that smoking is harming you include dizziness, coughing, and burning of the eyes, nose, and throat.
The following late effects are far worse:
Chewing and Smokeless Tobacco are also Harmful
Tobacco is not found only in cigarettes. Chewing tobacco and snuff (smokeless tobacco) are also dangerous to your health. Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums, and throat. These substances also lead to a decreased sense of taste and smell. Users run the risk of getting gum disease, which can lead to loss of teeth.
Immediately after using smokeless tobacco, the gums and lips can sting, crack, bleed, and wrinkle. Sores and white patches may appear. Mouth wounds in people who use smokeless tobacco take longer to heal.
There is help
Quitting is possible, and is a must if you want the best for yourself and those around you. If you ignore warning signals and continue to smoke, your body will change. It will get used to the smoke. You will not cough or feel sick every time you puff on a cigarette. Yet the damage to your body continues and worsens each time you smoke.
In order to quit, you must be strong. Get help from family and friends. Try again if you do not succeed the first time. Deciding to stop is up to you. Once you make that commitment, you can get help from our office. If you are interested in learning how to stop smoking, please ask us for help.
Be Cool. Don't smoke.
Ads are designed to encourage people to smoke, but never mention the harmful effects, such as bad breath, stained teeth, heart disease, and mouth and lung cancer. As one teenager put it, “kissing a boy/girl who smokes is like kissing a dirty ashtray."
How To Quit Smoking
Getting ready to quit
On Quitting Day
Smoking Cessation Medications (These can be used in combination if not effective alone)
Resources On The Internet
This information should not be used as substitute for the medical care and advice of your child’s physician. Health related topics found on the Andorra Pediatrics web site should not be used for diagnosing purposes or be substituted for medical advice. As with any new or ongoing treatment, always consult your professional healthcare provider before making any changes in treatment or beginning any new treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office.