Health Risks of Smoking Essay

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Health Risks of Smoking

According to the American Cancer Society, one in five deaths in the United States is a result of tobacco use. This statistic translates into over 400,000 smoking related deaths in the United States each year. From these two statistics alone it is obvious that smoking is bad. It is an epidemic that has been plaguing the United States since early settlers began growing the “stinking weed.” Earlier in the century people weren’t aware of the effects of tobacco, but now the facts speak for themselves and still several million people pick up the habit each year. Two million of these people are children, adolescents ages 11-17. Each day nearly 4,800 adolescents try smoking; of these, nearly 2,000 begin to smoke
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Almost half of all smokers die prematurely. The fact of the matter is that smoking can take up to 25 years off a person’s life. It is a documented fact that between Emphysema, lung cancer, and other smoking related diseases, the last few years of a dieing smoker’s life are agonizing. In some severe cases of emphysema people can’t even breath by themselves let alone talk. In these cases, the people need machines to do both. What’s even worse is that the tobacco companies aren’t just going after adults. They target their advertisements towards kids. 90% of new smokers are children and teenagers. This is for many reasons. Children are more impressionable than any other demographic, and if they get addicted early than there is a good chance Big Tobacco has a customer for life, instead of just a portion of that life. An example of this advertisement is the now banned Joe Camel. Joe Camel was a “cool” cartoon character created by Camel brand cigarettes to sell their product. The first problem with this ploy was the fact that “Joe” was a cartoon. Cartoons obviously attract kids. Secondly, the cartoon was drawn to be extremely smooth and cool something that adolescents and teenagers strive their entire lives to be. A broader example is the presence of attractive woman and men appearing on billboards and in magazines holding a cigarette and having such a great time. Who doesn’t want to be attractive and always having a good time?
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