Smoking is one of the worst things kids or adults can do to their bodies. Yet every single day nearly 4,400 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 start smoking. There is more than just one simple answer for this reason. Some kids may start smoking just because they're curious. Others may like the idea of doing something dangerous, something grown-ups don't want them to do. Still others might have grown up around lots of people who smoke and they might think it's the way to act like an adult.
So What if I Smoke?
You've probably heard that smoking and tobacco use can cause cancer and heart disease. That's true, but sometimes kids can't really think that far into the future to worry about an illness they might not get for 20 years. So let's talk about the problems that might affect kids more quickly:
More colds and coughs
Difficulty keeping up with friends when playing sports
Empty wallet - Tobacco products are very expensive
Kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray
Anyone who starts smoking could become addicted to it. If you're addicted to something, it's very hard to stop doing it, even if you want to. That's why so many adults have a hard time quitting smoking.
Why Is It So Bad for You?
The nicotine and other poisonous chemicals in tobacco cause lots of diseases, like heart problems and some kinds of cancer. If you smoke, you hurt your lungs and your heart each time you light up. It also can make it more difficult for blood to move around in the body, so smokers may feel tired and cranky. The longer you smoke the worse the damage becomes.