Teen Smoking Essay

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Tobacco Advertising and its dangerous effects on young people.

Tobacco Advertising Makes Young People Their Chief Target

Everyday 3,000 children start smoking, most them between the ages of 10 and 18.
These kids account for 90 percent of all new smokers. In fact, 90 percent of all adult smokers said that they first lit up as teenagers (Roberts). These statistics clearly show that young people are the prime target in the tobacco wars. The cigarette manufacturers may deny it, but advertising and promotion play a vital part in making these facts a reality (Roberts).

The kings of these media ploys are Marlboro and Camel. Marlboro uses a fictional western character called The
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Many people disagree with this statement such as Illinois Rep. Richard Durbin who states " If we can reduce the number of young smokers, the tobacco companies will be in trouble and they know it "(Roberts). So what do the tobacco companies do to keep their industry alive and well? Seemingly, they go toward a market that is not fully aware of the harm that cigarettes are capable of.

U.S. News recently featured a discussion of the smoking issue with 20 teenagers from suburban Baltimore. The group consisted of ten boys and ten girls between the ages of 15 and 17. When asked why they started smoking, they gave two contradictory reasons: They wanted to be a part of a peer group. They also wanted to reach out and rebel at the same time. " When you party, 75 to 90 percent of the kids are smoking. It makes you feel like you belong," says Devon
Harris, a senior at Woodlawn High. Teens also think of smoking as a sign of independence. The more authority figures tell them not to smoke, the more likely they are to pick up the habit (Roberts). The surprising thing is that these kids know that they are being influenced by cigarette advertising.

If these kids know that this advertising is manipulating them, why do they still keep smoking? The ads are everywhere, especially in teen-oriented
magazines,

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