Smoking among young people on the rise

By Marianne McKim
November 8, 2001

Justine DiFilippo

You look around outside your room on campus and you can probably make a bet that someone is outside smoking a cigarette. Smoking cigarettes is very common on college campuses across the nation. Cabrini College is no exception. Many students here on campus are grabbing a cigarette on the way to class, in between classes or on their way home.

Some people enjoy smoking and others can’t even stand the smell. Sophomore, Julian Smogger is a smoker. He said, “I smoke because I enjoy it.” Whether you do enjoy smoking or despise it, the facts are the facts. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,700 chemical compounds. Researchers say that anywhere between 40 and 60 of them are linked to cancer. Cigarette smoking is also strongly associated with emphysema and bronchitis. Visible smoke contributes to only between five and eight percent of the cigarette smoke as a whole. The vapors or the gasses that are unnoticed to the human eye are nitrogen and oxygen, and the toxic gasses are numerous. A few of these poisonous gasses are carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acrolein, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides.

Senior, Emily Oschell said, “Smoking is nasty and it causes cancer. I never started because my dad used to smoke and I hated being around it.”

Many say if you don’t start smoking by the time you are 19 then you never will. Smoking among young people, especially teenagers, is on the rise. Researchers believe that young people start smoking because of peer pressure. If their friends are doing it, then they should be doing it too. If they don’t smoke then they feel as though they won’t be accepted and be seen as a geek or a loser. Seeing how glamorous it looks on TV, in the movies and in advertisements, young people decide to start smoking. If an actor or actress smokes that a young person likes, they are very likely to start smoking themselves. Another reason as to why young people smoke is said to be associated with depression, low self-esteem and anxiety. “I was 17 when I started smoking and I started because I was depressed,” Smogger said. People, especially teens, also see smoking as a way to lose weight. There could be numerous other reasons as to why people started smoking also. If a person’s parents were smokers, their children are twice as likely to pick up a cigarette and start smoking.

With all the smoking that goes on in the world, there are numerous options people have to consider. Putting out a cigarette and making it your last is one way of quitting. This is called “cold turkey.” This works for many smokers but not everyone. Studies show that the best way to quit smoking is to combine nicotine gum, patch or spray with some form of counseling. The nicotine gum, patch and spray are all said to work equally. These help reduce the urge to smoke.

Another option is the nicotine-free-pill, which is only available by prescription. One reason it is better than the gum, patch or spray is because it not only reduces the desire to smoke but it also makes quitting more tolerable. The nicotine-free-pill helps control the moody, irritable or depressive feelings that smokers frequently suffer when they stop smoking.

Counseling is one alternative used when trying to quit smoking. Being able to talk to another person about what they are feeling helps many people overcome their habit. There are also many programs that can also help a person learn how to quit and prevent them from starting again.

Two other options that a person has can be through hypnosis or acupuncture. Hypnotism has become one of the most advertised methods of quitting. Many experts say that it can significantly diminish the psychological element of a nicotine addiction and help prepare someone to cope with their craving for nicotine. Acupuncture, like hypnosis, also is said to help those that have a strong desire to quit.

We all have the freedom to make our own decisions. Senior, Cliff Beckett said, “I don’t smoke because your clothes smell all the time. I also don’t like girls that smoke, it’s like being with an ashtray.” On the other hand, senior, Amy Whartnaby does smoke. She said, “I started years ago and now it is just so hard to quit.”

If you do smoke and are trying to quit try one of these methods listed and if you truly want to quit these could possibly help.

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Marianne McKim

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