[2015] Sana Umerwadia (Norwood): The Dangers of Smoking

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[2015] Sana Umerwadia (Norwood): The Dangers of Smoking

The Dangers of Smoking

What is Smoking?

Smoking is a highly addictive drug. Once you start smoking, it is hard to stop. There are no physical reasons to start smoking, in fact, many of the chemicals in cigarettes like nicotine and cyanide are actual poisons that can kill you in enough doses. Smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths in Canada and 85% of cancer cases. Did you know that 9 out of 10 tobacco users started to smoke before they were even 18 years old? Now, 20% of highschool students smoke. That's 1 in 5 kids!

Reasons for Smoking

People often start smoking due to a number of reasons and issues. Normally, highschool students begin smoking either because it looks cool or because of peer influence or peer pressure. Other reasons would be if their family mebers or friends smoke, and smoking to cope with stress. Media and advertisements from tobacco companies are also big reasons young adults and kids begin smoking. The advertisements, movies, and television shows are now often geared towards kids and teenagers.

Effects of Smoking

Smoking not only has short term effects but also has effects that can last you a lifetime. Longterm effects of continuosly smoking include developing heart problems such as heart disease, stroke, and emphysema. You can even develop cancers such as lung, throat, stomach, and bladder cancer. Smoking develop wrinkles, yellow teeth, bad skin, bad breath, and makes you lose bone density and increase risk of osteoporosis. Smoking continuously can also shorten your lifespan by 10 years and can effect your lungs and shorten your lung power.

No Safe Substitutes

Cigarettes are not the only thing that gets people dependent on tobacco. Other substitites for smoking like Hookahs and Electronic Cigarettes are just as bad as smoking and sometimes even worse. There is no such thing as a safe nicotine product, in fact, some of these substitutes contain chemicals and other toxins that can cause cancer. All forms of tobacco are hazardous and products like Electronic Cigarettes have not been evaluated yet and can be worse than the original products.


The best way to prevent the problems of smoking would be to stay smoke-free, which would be real hard if you are being influenced by those around you. Be more resilient by having a positive self-image, a positve outlet for stress, good communication skills, being optimistic and having good support from family and friends. Other ways to prevent smoking and to promote resilience would be going to support groups especially targeted towards your age group. It also helps to have an excuse for when a family member or friend offers a substance to you like saying "I don't like it" or telling them that you have to stay in shape for sports. By being more resilient, you will be able to deal with with bad situations.

By Sana Umerwadia





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