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Cigarette smoking is a habit that kills approximately million of people per year. It is surprisingly being picked up by myriad amount of children every day. Smoking becomes a growing trend in the youth community. The number of young smokers have been increased in most American middle schools and high schools. Both girls and boys are smoking because they think it is cool. The four reasons that cause many teenagers to start smoking are peer-pressure, image projection, rebellion, and adult aspirations.
Approximately 3, 000 teenagers pick up the smoking habit each day in America. That is roughly one million new teenage smokers per year. About 60% of all high school students try smoking by the time they are seniors because they think it is a cool thing to do (Johnston. ) In 1996, smoking rates are 21 percent among eighth-graders (13-14 years old), 30 percent among 10 th-graders (15-16 years old), and 34 percent among 12 th-graders (17-18 years old). These rates are impressively high, especially when compared to the fact that about 25 percent of all adults are classified as current smokers according to the National Health Interview Survey. Cigarette smoking peaked in 1996 among eighth, and tenth graders nationwide, and in 1997 among 12 th-graders.
Since those peak years, there has been a gradual decline in smoking rates, which continued in 1999. (Johnston). Rates of daily smoking are also down from their peak levels (in 1996 for eighth- and 10 th-graders and in 1997 for 12 th-graders) but did not show much improvement in 1999 specifically, according to Johnston. 'Because young people tend to carry the smoking habits they develop in adolescence into adulthood, the substantial and continuing increases in teen smoking bode ill for the eventual longevity and health of this generation of American young people,' concludes Johnston. 'Hundreds of thousands of children from each graduating class are likely to suffer appalling diseases, and to die prematurely, as a result of the smoking habits they are developing in childhood and adolescence.' Young people continue to report cigarettes as being easily available to them: 77 percent of the eighth-graders, who are 13 or 14 years old, report that cigarettes would be 'very easy' or 'fairly easy' for them to get, and 91 percent of the 10 th-graders say the same thing. Why has there been such an increase in the number of smoking young people? There are several causes for this trend.
First, it is the peer pressure. Group acceptance is one of the reasons that cause many teenagers to start smoking. They smoke based solely on the fact that cigarettes make them look cool. For example, if their friends are smoking, many teenagers will begin smoking simply to maintain their acceptance within the group.
On the other hand, some of the young people start smoking just out of curiosity. From this curiosity, they will try smoking, and whether they like it or not will be the basis for their decision. However, I know most of them will not quit after their first cigarette because if they quit, then their friends might say that you are not cool. For instance, if you have a group of friends, and every one of them smokes except you, then you feel weird when you hang out with them. As a result of feeling weird in front of your friends, you now have a sudden urge to start smoking simply because you want to act the same as your friend do.
According to my friend David that I talked to, he said that he was smoking just because he wanted to look cool. Image projection is the second reason that causes many teenagers to start smoking. There is definitely an 'image' that attached to smoking by advertising. For women or young girls, it is one of sexiest and desirable things to do. Some girls begin to smoke thinking they can lose weight. According to my friend that I talked to, I asked her "why did you smoke?" and she replied that "I was smoking because I think I can lose weight and to me it can attract men." For men or guys, it is for rugged individualism, fun, or coolness.
If a teenager buys into that image, then he or she begins smoking. For example, I have a friend who smoked since he was 17. When I ask him "What forces you to begin smoking?" He replies that "I smoke just because I think it's fun to smoke, and I also want to be cooled in my senior year of high school." Day after day, he was getting addicted to smoking; and it is hard for him to quit now. Image projection is definitely an important thing for some men or women; therefore, it urges them to smoke.
Another reason for teenage smoking is rebellion, which causes many teenagers start smoking. Many teenagers take up smoking because they know it annoys, bothers, and infuriates their parents and other adults. There is also a certain element of 'doing what is not allowed' worked in as well. For example, if you have an argument with your dad or mom, then you smoke just to annoy your parents because you know they do not like to see you smoke. However, in some cases, the young kids are getting addicted after their first try. Finally, they want to be an adult.
Adult aspiration is also one of the reasons that lead some teenagers to smoking. Some teenagers believe that by smoking they are acting like an adult. If the teenager is raised in a community where most of the adults smoke, then this is perhaps a logical conclusion. They have the tendency to imitate what the adults around them did. For some teenagers, they are smoking because they think with a cigarette in their mouth makes them look and feel like an adult. According to my friend John, he said that he was smoking since he was 16, he thought that cigarette made him look cool and feel like an adult.
Thus, there has been a trend increasing over the past few years and a little decline in 1999 among young smokers; however, it did not show much improvement. America is a freedom country, but how can we free the number of young smokers from those cigarettes or seduced advertisers? Therefore, we should find a solution to help the young smokers to quit before the cigarettes put their lives in danger.
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