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Straight Facts on Smoking

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 22 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Cigarettes smoking cigarette Smoke

Stained fingers. Bad breath. Sore throat. Hacking cough. Noxious clothes. Need more reasons to avoid smoking? How about lung cancer, weak bones, stomach ulcers and dry, wrinkled skin? These aren't even half of the unfortunate side effects of smoking, and yet thousands of teenagers continue to take up this unsavoury habit every day. Unfortunately, too little information about the dangers of smoking often combines with a sense of invincibility to fool these teens into thinking that they aren't doing anything harmful. Save yourself the misery and get the real facts on smoking.

Inside a Cigarette

A lot of teens truly believe that cigarettes aren't bad for their health, but cigarettes are loaded with over 4,000 chemicals. At least 10% of these ingredients are carcinogenic, which means that there are more than 40 cancer causing chemicals rolled up in each cigarette. Just a few of the chemicals you'll find inside of a cigarette include:

  • Acetone, a common ingredient in nail polish remover.
  • Ammonia, a common component in household cleaning products.
  • Arsenic, a poison that can be lethal.
  • DDT, a chemical so harmful it has been banned from most insect repellents.
  • Formalin, a chemical used to preserve human remains.
  • Nitro benzene, a chemical commonly added to petrol.
  • Nicotine, the substance that makes smoking addictive.

Don't Even Start

A lot of teens start smoking because they believe it makes them seem more mature, or because they believe that it helps them relax. Unfortunately these teens don't realise that smoking is addictive, so rather than relaxing they become slaves to their cigarettes. If you don't smoke, don't start and you will save yourself:

  • Approximately £500 per year depending on your weekly habit.
  • The energy of running for a new pack every time you have a craving.
  • A future full of ill health.
  • A drawer full of beauty products to hide the adverse affects of smoking.
  • Huge dry cleaning bills to get the stink of smoke out of your clothes.
  • Many nights out in the cold once the smoking ban comes into force.

Kick the Habit

If you do smoke, change your woeful ways immediately. Many scientists believe that if you quit smoking while you are still young, your body can heal itself over time. Kick the habit now by:

  • Quitting cold turkey. Throw out all of your packs and don't be tempted to buy new ones.
  • Telling your family and friends about your plan and enlisting their support.
  • Exercising more. Get your heart pumping and take deep breaths to remind yourself how nice it is to be healthy.
  • Chewing gum instead of smoking.
  • Fiddling with a pen if your hands are itching to play with a cigarette.
  • Stay away from activities or places that remind you of smoking.
  • Ask others not to smoke in front of you.
  • Plan a holiday, new wardrobe or one-time-only splurge with all the cash you will save.
  • Reward yourself first for every day you get through without smoking, then for every week.
  • Celebrate your new life as a non smoker!
Don't be fooled into thinking that smoking is harmless. Show you're smart by staying away from cigarettes, or kicking them out of your life for good!

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