When considering the amount of money the tobacco companies are making these days, one would think that advertising wouldn’t land its cross hairs on the innocent youth. However, is the battle truly against advertising or even peer pressure? Unfortunately, children and teens are continuously falling into the trap that parents, teachers and coaches have been warning them about since they were young. Why do so many fall through the cracks when so much has been learned and unveiled?
The many ingredients of tobacco are not only used to take the edge off the hard work day, but also used to kill insects. It’s true. Nicotine, in its purest form is an insecticide and is used in many products just for that reason. Not only is this chemical toxic, it is addictive to the point of creating a psychological dependence on the drug itself. Besides nicotine, thousands of other harmful chemicals enter the body when using tobacco; many of which cause cancer, birth defects and other diseases. Tobacco contains stimulants, which speed up the body’s processes. When this is paired with nicotine’s effects (slowing circulation, high blood pressure and increasing heart rate) the entire circulatory system gets mixed messages and is prone to have major issues.
So why do teens even desire the thrill of tobacco? The long-time favored reason is to say they want to fit in or perhaps become accepted by a more mature crowd. However, some teens are trading the health effects for the perks of tobacco regardless of social stature. Believe it or not, people enjoy the effects of tobacco, whether chewed or smoked. They have no desire to quit because they rely on it to relieve stress and anxiety, and find it honestly pleasurable. In addition, teens, both male and female, have been found to rely on tobacco’s benefits when it comes to weight management. Tobacco suppresses the appetite and increases the metabolic rate.
In an era where information is literally at the fingertips, teens of all people should be aware of the harm tobacco, or other substances for that matter, can cause. Could it be possible to know the catastrophic consequences, yet roll the dice anyway? In today’s modern culture, no one can honestly weigh the balance and find tobacco’s recreational use beneficial. Regrettably, children and teens are no longer facing a lack of education, but rather a lack of self control and self respect.