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Youth and Tobacco: Keeping You Safe as You Head Back to School

Tobacco Navigator Lisyuri Gallardo

Tobacco Navigator Lisyuri Gallardo


Every day, 3,200 people under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette. As if it isn’t obvious, tobacco is very addictive.

This comes from the addictive ingredient in tobacco called nicotine. This means that if the rate of underage smoking continues 5.6 million of people smoking under the age of 18 will die prematurely. These are some things to think about if you are an underage smoker, or are being tempted by people around you to smoke.

The Truth

  • Teenagers who smoke suffer from shortness of breath and the production of phlegm three times more likely than their peers or friends who do not smoke.
  • Teenagers who smoke are more likely to have seen a doctor for emotional or psychological problems.
  • Smoking at an early age increases the chances of someone developing lung cancer or heart disease or both.
  • When it comes down to other teenage problems like break outs and pimples, teens who smoke cigarettes are more likely to break out with pimples, and teens that smoke or more likely to have these pimples last longer.
  • When a teen comes down with a sickness or cold their symptoms may last longer and be more severe for those that smoke.
  • Social life is very important for teens and smoking makes your breath, hair, and clothes stink, and changes the coloration of your teeth. No one wants to be around someone with these qualities.

Ways to Stop Smoking or Resist the Temptation

  • Spend money on other things like clothes, CD’s, video games, movies, or snacks instead of spending it on cigarettes.
  • Smoking may be the “cool” thing to do in movies and TV, but did you know that most of the people in movies, TV, and music videos do not use tobacco.
  • Get other people involved like friends, family, neighbors or people from church groups to help fight the urge of tobacco in schools and communities. Like many have said, a group is always more effective than being on your own.
  • Get involved and stay busy! Join sports teams, clubs, church groups or individual hobbies you enjoy and keep your mind away from the urge of tobacco.

These are some helpful things to keep in mind for the youth to think of if they are struggling with tobacco. Tobacco can slow down your life and make it difficult for you down the long journey called life. So don’t use tobacco just because you think it is cool or everyone around you is doing it. Remember you have a mind and a life too, and if you feel deep down that it is the wrong thing to do, it probably is.

Do you or someone you know want to quit using tobacco? Call Tobacco Navigator Lisyuri Gallardo at (719) 587-6334