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Smoking became an activity that everyone around the world has included in their culture in some way. The history of tobacco alone began to progress as a fragment of a Japanese ceremony and eventually made it into our households. Smoking can be considered very traditional in many parts of the world, especially in Asia. But smoking is linked to 17 types of cancer; lung, throat, and bladder cancer, among others. So with that in mind, does such an old tradition have a special place in our society?
In the United States of America, with an estimated population of 323 million, approximately 47 million adults 18 and older are smokers. Surprisingly a comparative 11% of an estimated 42 million adolescents smoke. An astonishing combined total of 51.5 million adults and adolescents are currently classified as smokers in America, 16% of the total present population. Approximately 42% of all adult Native American Indians and Native American Alaskans smoke, which is comparatively double the ratio of adult smokers found within the four remaining racial classification groups, i.e., Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian.
Enticed adolescents smoke typically through subliminal predictive programming media advertisements which portray primarily active, youthful, athletic, and vigorous individuals smoking alternatively as macho, feminine, sensual, attractive, rebellious, revolutionary, or mutinous. More often than not, the media portrayal of a youthful smoker as any of the preceding adjectives will elicit a distinct fascination and allure in impressionable and vulnerable young teenagers and adolescents. Many teenagers grappling with low self-esteem readily revert to smoking to create an illusionary image of themselves to elevate their particular status within their desired peer group.
Each year 800,000 American adolescents under the age of 18 start smoking. Of those 800,000 adolescents, nascent smokers, approximately one-third will persist and become regular smokers. Adolescents who smoke regularly usually strive to quit due primarily to nicotine's toxic and highly addictive effects. Ammonia-treated nicotine, a stimulant at first, quickly becomes a long-term depressant. Adolescent smokers are at extreme peril to engage in the following antisocial and subsequent criminal behaviours: sexual promiscuity, alcohol and substance abuse, petty theft, robbery, physical altercations, narcotics trafficking, possession of weapons, and racketeering. Adolescent smoking correspondingly is associated with early death or incarceration.
Life expectancy is greatly diminished by pulmonary diseases caused by teenage smoking. The following diseases are only a partial list of life-threatening maladies set in motion by teenage smoking: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, acute bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, pulmonary edema, pneumoconiosis, and premature death.
In conclusion, adolescents craving higher education, upward social mobility, lucrative employment as well as a vigorous, active, productive, lengthy, and satisfactory life would do well to avoid smoking and all the adverse effects linked to it.