Smoking Research Paper
Have you ever gone to a movie that had huge ads with rave reviews, only to find that it was a waste of time and money? But by then it was too late - you'd already spent the bucks on a ticket and popcorn. Advertising hype can make almost anything look attractive. That's what tobacco companies and their advertisers have done with smoking. They've taken a habit that's a turnoff - smelly, expensive, and unhealthy - and tried to convince you that it's glamorous and exciting. Tobacco companies use advertising to manipulate both teens and adults. They present images that are hard to shake, even when you know the truth. Have you ever seen a cigarette ad where people are wrinkled, middle-aged, and coughing or in the hospital dying of lung cancer? Of course not! In most ads, smokers are shown the way that teens would like to be: attractive and hip, sophisticated and elegant, or rebellious and cool. What they don't tell you in cigarette ads is that they want you to become addicted. Tobacco companies keep close tabs on the number of teens who are smoking.
They worry when those numbers decline because they need new smokers to replace the ones who die each day from smoking-related illnesses. Many teens start smoking because they have friends or older siblings who smoke. Some teens look at smoking as a way to get through parties, dates, or other difficult social situations. Smoking gives them something to do with their hands and makes them feel older or more sophisticated. Some teens smoke because they feel they look too young and that smoking may make them appear more like an adult. Some teens - especially girls - think smoking is a way to keep their weight under control.
A person might think that if she has cigarettes in her hands, she's a lot less likely to eat. Others believe that a cigarette helps them relax when they're stressed out because of schoolwork, dating problems, or family pressures. Teens often start smoking because one or both parents smoke or because another close relative is a smoker. They get the message that smoking is an acceptable habit. Others smoke because it isn't acceptable in their families.
These teens may think that smoking shows that they are old enough to make their own decisions. No matter what age people start smoking - and nearly 90% of adult smokers start while they are still teens - they never intend to get hooked. They may start by taking a cigarette or two from a friend at a party, and then go on to buying an occasional pack. Soon they realize that they can't go without that pack. They've gotten used to reaching for a cigarette first thing in the morning, after meals, or during any stressful time. They are addicted, both physically and psychologically. It's not easy to stop smoking even if you want to. According to many experts, the nicotine in tobacco is more addictive than cocaine and heroin.
One survey of high school students who were daily smokers showed that only 5% of them intended to be smoking in 5 years. But after 5 years 75% of them were still smoking. Smokers are also more likely to abuse other substances, such as alcohol and marijuana. Even if becoming addicted doesn't bother you, the side effects of smoking may. For instance, smokers stink. Literally. The smell of tobacco lingers for a long time on your hair, your clothes, and your breath. Sniff a dirty ashtray to see what a smoker smells like to non-smokers. Smokers don't look good - not at all like the attractive people you see in ads.
Their teeth become yellow, and it's hard to get the stains removed. Smokers also get many more wrinkles than non-smokers and this is only to name a few effects. Smoking is expensive. Think of all the CDs, movies, and clothes you could buy with $1,500 each year. That's about 100 CDs if you are spending $15.00 a CD! That's what's going up in smoke if you're buying just one pack of cigarettes a day at $4.00 a pack.
(And they're much more expensive than that in many places.) If you live in an area where cigarettes are $6.00 a pack, then smoking a pack a day will cost you about $2,300 a year! Sports are an important part of many teens' lives. Smokers find it hard to compete because of the physical effects of smoking: rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath. Smokers are also more likely to miss a big game because they get more colds and flu. It's often difficult to think several years ahead The reality is that each time you smoke a cigarette, it is costing you 5 to 20 minutes of your life. It puts you at much greater risk for heart disease and cancer.
In fact, one out of every three smokers will die a smoking-related death. If you've made the decision to avoid smoking, it may help you to have an excuse ready for the times you're feeling the pressure. If a friend offers you a cigarette, you don't have to argue - you can simply say something like "I just don't like it," or "I want to stay in shape for soccer" (or football or basketball or whatever). Don't feel alone. In spite of what the tobacco companies would like you to believe, only about 28% of high school students smoke. That means about three out of every four don't smoke. Everyone doesn't do it. You can also have some fun reading between the lines of cigarette advertising. Take a look at how unrealistic the ads are.
Are those climbers likely to be climbing a mountain with cigarettes in their backpacks? How long will that woman have beautiful skin and gorgeous teeth if she keeps smoking? The more you think about it, the more ridiculous it is - and the less likely you are to be manipulated by these images. If you're already a smoker and you want to stop, there is hope. Quitting is tough, but not impossible. Think about all the reasons you want to quit, and try to stay focused on them (such as better performance in sports or saving up for a car).
Seek support from your family and your friends.Find a new activity - something that will fill the time (and your hands) during the times that you used to smoke a cigarette. Exercise is a good choice, and it also helps you avoid weight gain.For some people, quitting straight away is best. Others find that a slower approach works for them. There is always an excuse to start smoking, and in fact there will always be an excuse to quit. Finally, don't get discouraged. When it gets tough, try to remember that being a nonsmoker will give you a whole lot more - more energy, more money in your pocket, and in the long run, more life to live while being healthy.
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