By Alicia Ygarza –
The buzz, the relaxation and the feeling of its warmth between your fingers.
The addiction, the coughing and the cancer, a cigarette is a deadly combination of desire and danger.
“You know you’re addicted when you can’t go two hours without one,” said one student.
According to findarticles.com, the rate of teenage smokers has increased every year since 1992.
Findarticles.com states, “The latest National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted by the American Legacy Foundation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), finds that about one in eight (12.8 percent) middle school students and one in three (34.8 percent) high school students used tobacco in the last month.”
“A cigarette to me is like biting my nails,” said Leah Freeman, a Penn Manor graduate. “It’s a terrible habit and I hate it.”
According to smokingstatistics.org, more and more teens are becoming addicted to cigarettes and the rate of teen smokers increases by thousands yearly, even daily.
Many teens experienced their first cigarette in the tender years of middle school, a time when teens begin to go through puberty and experience emotional highs and lows. In many cases, cigarettes are a way for teens to escape their troubles.
According to Teen Drug Abuse, many people smoke to relax and escape their “troubles and feelings of insecurity.”
“I became addicted when I was fourteen and hanging out with older people influenced me to continue smoking,” said one Penn Manor student.
Most teens admit that peer pressure is why they smoke, wanting to please their friends around them, according to smoking statistics.org. Approximately 11 percent of students in middle school have confessed that they as well have tried smoking cigarettes on more than one occasion. Most of them will become addicted and continue the habit. Of the teenagers that are addicted to cigarettes, one out of the five is smoking an alarming 13 to 15 cigarettes every single day.
“I smoke 10-15 cigarettes a day,” said a Penn Manor student who wished to remain anonymous.
“I takes me about five minutes to smoke one,” the student said.
According to smoking-facts.net, smoking cigarettes increases your use and chance of drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and using cocaine.
Is this true for teens at Penn Manor?
“Smoking cigarettes doesn’t make me smoke weed, drink or do cocaine. I smoke a cigarette whenever I’m drinking though,” said one Penn Manor student.
A few other students agreed they also smoke a cigarette when they’re drinking.
Though there are products to help people stop smoking, those products don’t work in all cases.
“I used patches for about a week and I think they didn’t work because it’s too much of a change from smoking an actual cigarette. To me smoking is the thought and habit of blowing the smoke out and holding it,” said one Penn Manor student.
“The amount of cigarettes that are purchased illegally for underage teens is astounding, and it’s estimated at over one and a half million packages every year. Once these teens become addicted to smoking, most have revealed they want to quit, but cannot. Many of these teenagers that choose to smoke at such a young age will die at a much younger age because they have decided to smoke tobacco,” says smokingstatistics.org.
“I buy a pack every two days, so I spend about $20-$25 a week,” said a Penn Manor student.
“I feel guilty when I smoke because my uncle has lung cancer and I don’t want to keep doing it,” said a student.
“When I don’t smoke I get very grumpy. It affects my life because I’m aging faster, my teeth aren’t as white and it affects certain places I go,” said another student.
“I get annoyed of the smell, it’s disgusting,” said one other student.