Smoking Trends Among Teenagers Essay

1062 words - 4 pages


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 10th-graders (15-16 years old), and 34 percent among 12th-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 12th-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 10th-graders and in 1997 for 12th-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 10th-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...

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