"Dangers of Teenage Smoking" is a controversial example of a paper on child development. Although considered to be a widely practised source of recreation, smoking in today’ s world has become more of a problem for humanity than it was once considered. A number of effects of smoking are seen in our daily lives. Although the financial interest involved with the tobacco business promotes its use, the reality of the matter is that the vast majority of effects of smoking are not favourable. The harmful effects of smoking are not limited to individuals concerned, instead, the whole society pays the price.
A recent trend has alarmed the authorities in considering newer strategies pertaining to cigarette smoking. This issue relates to the trend of smoking among teenagers. The risks of cigarette smoking have increased as these teenagers have adapted to this new trend. This essay would revolve around the dangers of teenage smoking. As the trend of smoking in teenagers has increased, it is seen that the policymakers are trying to seek out ways through which the problem can be curbed.
It has been witnessed that the tobacco industry has played a formidable role in changing the policy to their own advantage. However recently the opponents of smoking have taken a stand and are changing the policy in such a way that the problem of teenage smoking can be curbed. Cigarette smoking has a lot of adverse effects on the health of teenagers. It is one of the major risk factors for causing lung cancer along with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is estimated that around 3000 children start smoking cigarette every passing day.
The early age of teenagers is the most significant factor which can be attributed to the progression of the disease. It is because of the high content on Nicotine that the teenagers are addicted to smoking and thus they are more prone to catch tobacco-related diseases later in their life (Jacobson, 2001). Over the last years, it is seen that more and more teenagers are adapting to this new change in smoking. The addiction to Nicotine is one of the most dangerous outcomes of smoking at an early age.
Many researchers have gathered evidence regarding the dependence of nicotine in teenagers. Kassel in his research puts forward that teenage smoking can be very dangerous to the health of the individual himself because of many reasons. He puts forward that many of the adults who smoke usually started smoking at the age of 18. Smoking amongst teenagers usually starts as a spark but later on becomes an addiction. Smoking amongst teenagers poses a great health problem to them as found by several researchers.
And lastly, the teenagers are addicted to nicotine because of smoking and this can lead to several problems when curbing the issue at the state level (Wagner, 2000). Teenage smoking has also been highlighted by the National Health Services. It can be found that teenage smoking not only affects the health of an individual but it also affects the outlook of the individual. NHS puts forward that cigarette smoking causes stained teeth, wrinkled skin and may cause early death in many of the individuals (NHS 2012). Doctors have also put forward that smoking at an early age can cause damage to the brain.
It is because of this damage that the teenagers would not be able to hear properly in their latter stages of life. The doctors further put forward that it is the early years of life in which the brain develops fully and if this stage is affected then the maturation process is interfered with. Dr Jacobsen conducted research on the teenagers to find out the effect of smoking on them. The research clearly showed differences between the scans of the smokers and the non-smokers.
Most of the changes were found in the white matter of the brain which helps in relaying the signals from the brain to different parts of the body. The report clarified that the brain is most susceptible to damage at an early age and this damage can primarily affect the area behind the ear. Dr Richard Todd states “ It seems the brain remains vulnerable long into adolescence” (Fiona, 2012). A number of short-term health problems are associated with smoking, which may include respiratory and non-respiratory harm to health, risk of use of other addictive drugs and also an addition to nicotine itself.
Moreover, it is well known that those young people who are in a habit of regular smoking fail to quit this habit in adulthood. The function of the lungs of smokers is compromised. Heart disease and stroke may be caused as a direct result of smoking. Individuals who start smoking in the early years are life start to have effects of smoking on their body by the time they reach adulthood.
The physical fitness of young individuals is affected both in terms of endurance and performance. It has been estimated that the life of individuals who smoke a pack of cigarettes per day is decreased by more than 6 years as compared to a non-smoker. The heart rate of smokers is comparatively higher than non-smokers. The risk of lung cancer is increased manifolds if the habit of smoking develops in the early years of life. The complaint of shortness of breath is three times more common in smokers than in the normal population who is not in the habit of smoking (Cordry, 2001). It can be therefore concluded that smoking amongst teenagers is a serious problem which needs to be tackled by the governments.
Willingly or unwillingly, individuals start smoking at an early stage of their life, not knowing the long term consequences of this habit. With the passage of time, it becomes an addiction and therefore the vast majority of smokers fail to quit the habit. During this process, smoking continues to play havoc with the lives of individuals themselves and also with the lives of their families.
Apart from the health damages, financial damages and the social damages which result from damage to family structure continue to occur. There is a need to increase the awareness of the general public regarding the harmful effects of smoking so that the harmful effects of smoking can be overcome.
Cordry, Harold V. Tobacco: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2001. Print, p155, 237.
Jacobson, Peter D.. Combating teen smoking: research and policy strategies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001. Print.
MACRAE, FIONA. "Teenage smoking may harm the brain say doctors | Mail Online." Home | Mail Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.
Wagner, Eric F.. Nicotine addiction among adolescents. New York: Haworth, 2000. Print.
"What happens to teen smokers? - Live Well - NHS Choices." NHS Choices - Your health, your choices. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.