Friday, September 30, 2011

Is there a problem?

After school one day I saw a little kid smoking. This is not as uncommon as a person should wish. Anyone 16 and older can legally purchase and use cigarettes in Belgium. It's the same in many other foreign countries, however, there are also younger children who pick up the habit. An average of 1-5 teenagers between the ages 13-15 start smoking cigarettes in the world. It is my belief that these young people who make the decision to smoke do not fully realize the risks and the consequences. Sometimes adults do not reflect on the facts of smoking either. Once a person decides to smoke the possible long term side affects include: lower bone density, stillbirth, bad oder, decreased ability to perform physical activity, earlier signs of wrinkly skin, sleeping issues, tainted teeth, getting an erection (for men), cancer, reduced circulation, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and coronary heart disease; the leading cause of death in the United States. Even though all these negative attributes are present 10 million cigarettes are purchased per minute worldwide. Half of these long-term smokers die as a result of tobacco use. Cigarettes are not only harmful to people but to the environment as well. It is estimated that after 18 months to 10 years a cigarette filter will finally decompose. Even if a person never smokes he or she can be affected by second-hand smoking. The decision to smoke will harm the user, the environment, and other people. Its hard to face the facts and some people try to ignore them but they will eventually see or feel the reality of smoking. I want to go back to that day when I was at school; I want to explain to him why he should throw that cigarette away. But "woulda, shoulda, coulda" never changed anything. Hopefully, he will discover his mistake before its too late!

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