Saturday, April 23, 2011

Causes & effects of teen smoking

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Teen Smoking; the Final Frontier

The facts are right there on the pack Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema and may complicate pregnancy. Many teen smokers say that they regret beginning to smoke when such particulars are conveyed. However, most youth attribute their tendencies of smoking to the glamorization of smoking in the media, depression, and lastly easy access to tobacco. Yet, with all the facts about smoking at their disposal, “…every day almost 5,000 U.S. teens try cigarettes for the first time and about ,000 continue to become regular smokers…”

Therefore, the question remains, why exactly are teens lighting it up. Some speculate that many young people start smoking because of the glamorization of smoking on television, in the movies and in advertisements. When he was still alive, Joe Camel, the cigarette-smoking camel, was reported to be as familiar to 6-year-old children as Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Youth are more impressionable as far as reacting to what they see and hear on the television. Hence, Joe Camel was the perfect marketing tool to attract the attention of teen worldwide. To counteract this practice the FDA stepped in and made a ruling. The FDA rule places restrictions on Tobacco Company marketing practices that targets large numbers of kids. For example, outdoor advertising will be banned within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds, and tobacco company sales or giveaways will be prohibited, as would tobacco company brand-name sponsorships of sporting or entertainment events. With this newly instituted plan, the FDA plans to substantially reduce the number of under age smoking amongst teens.

There are also a couple other factors of teen smoking. One is that smoking is associated with depression. Anxiety and low self-esteem in some cases parallel many teens’ usage tobacco products as a way to self-medicate. Smokings effect on the development of depression may be attributable “…to central nervous system effects of nicotine or other smoking by-products. [Continuing,] the effectiveness of antidepressants in smoking cessation, independent of previous or current depression, provides additional support for this view. While heavy cigarette use is not necessarily a result of depression, it has been said that other social factors do predict progression to heavy smoking. These include previous experimentation with tobacco products, poor school performance, peer tobacco use, and parental report of bad temper.

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Finally, whatever their reason is, young people say they find it easy to obtain cigarettes despite laws banning the sale of tobacco to minors. Becoming aware of this, the Federal Government implemented new provisions. Vendors and shopkeepers caught selling or serving alcohol or tobacco-related products face a fine of $500 or imprisonment of up to 6 months. Minors who violate the ban are also held accountable and must pay a $0 fine, which will be doubled if the offence is repeated.

In short, there are many reasons behind teen smoking. It may be due to the glamorization smoking to the glamorization of smoking in the media, depression, or easy access to tobacco; the federal government is cracking down. This is most evident within the following recently instated ordinances and laws. The banning of vending machine sales and self-service displays except in places where minors are not allowed, such as certain bars and nightclubs, the prohibition of the sale of single or loose cigarettes and requires packages to contain at least twenty, and lastly the prohibiting of free giveaways of cigarettes or smokeless (spit) tobacco products. Our fast paced society offer us many new daily adventures and challenges. One would think that in the quest to survive as long as feasible that cigarette smoking would be a mere hindrance. However, where there is a will there is a way, and unless cigarette smoking is banned, it’s unfortunately to say the number of teenage smokers will probably skyrocket.

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