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Friday, August 5, 2011

Smoking and Youth

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly a quarter of all high school students smoke cigarettes, with another 8 percent using smokeless tobacco. Smoking causes all kinds of health problems for everyone, but if you start smoking at a young age, you may face more kinds of health problems. If you start smoking before the age of 21, it is harder to quit. About 30 percent of those who start smoking at a young age continue smoking and will die at a younger age. Also, younger smokers have a higher incidence of alcohol and drug abuse.

Here are some great reasons not to start smoking:

- It makes your breath and your clothes stink

- It affects your ability to breathe well and will make it harder for you to be athletic

- It can damage your heart

- Short-term use of smokeless tobacco can cause cracked lips, white spots, sores, and bleeding in the mouth

- Cigarettes cost a fortune and by quitting you can save hundreds and thousands of dollars.

The Financial cost of smoking

The number one reason to quit smoking is to improve your health, but another aspect to consider is the cost of smoking. With all the taxes imposed on cigarettes, many brands are well over $5.00 a pack.

The National Cancer Institute has a web site with a calculator so you can see how much money you will save by quitting smoking. As an example, here’s how much you will save if you pay $5.00 for a pack of cigarettes and smoke one pack a day:

After .... You'll save

1 day $5.00

1 week $35.00

1 month $150.00

1 year $1,825.00

10 years* $24,054.95

20 years* $67,133.70

* Based on price of cigarettes increasing 6% annually.

To see how much you will save based on the amount you smoke and how much you pay per pack, you can check out the calculator at: How Much Will You Save? (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch). They also have other resources to help you quit smoking.

More links:

Clearing the Air (Guide for Quitting Smoking) (National Cancer Institute)

Smoking (National Cancer Institute)

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