Pet Peeve | Teen Ink

Pet Peeve

December 10, 2009
By James Lee BRONZE, Hoffman Estates, Illinois
James Lee BRONZE, Hoffman Estates, Illinois
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

It has been proven that cigarettes are harmful to just about every organ in the body. It has been researched that second hand smoking can be just as detrimental as smoking a cigarette. Even with all of these cold hard facts, people will and continue smoking. I don't understand why a person would damage their body by smoking and I don't think I will every understand. What I do know is that I do not want to be near them when they start digging their own grave.

Cigarette smoke doesn't contain dozens or even hundreds of chemicals but it contains nearly 4000 different chemicals. Some of these chemicals are also in common household items such as acetone (nail polish remover), nicotine (weed killer), and methylamine (tanning lotion). All of these chemicals are going into the mouth, down the throat, inside the lungs, and ultimately into the heart. There are three chemicals inside a cigarette that are even more dangerous than the rest. One of them is nicotine. Nicotine is the substance that gets the user addicted. When nicotine enters the the body, it acts as a stimulant. It begins speeding up the heart rate and it increases the blood pressure which results in the smoker feeling more alert and relaxed. Many smokers who wish to quit smoking simply cannot because their body has become so dependent on the nicotine. As Mark Twain once said, “To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.” Another dangerous chemical is tar. Although the cigarette may not look like it holds tar, it contains plenty of it. It has been reported that over 70% of the tar in cigarettes goes straight to the lungs. The tar inside the lungs creates lung cancer and narrows the airways inside the lungs. The narrowing of the airways can be costly for athletes since it makes breathing much harder. Another chemical that most people are not aware of is carbon monoxide. Yes, it is the same chemical that comes out of the exhaust pipe behind cars. Once carbon monoxide is inside the body, it deprives the body of oxygen and makes the blood sticky. This interferes with the growth, repair, and exchange of healthy nutrients. What all of these 4000 chemicals add up to is a quicker death. A smoker is expected to live fifteen years shorter than a non smoker. In America, over 443,000 people die every year from smoking and about 50,000 of those deaths are just from second hand smoking. Every 6.5 seconds, a smoker dies in the world and a total of 5.4 million people die from smoking every year in the world. There is simply nothing inside a cigarette that is remotely good for the human body.

Although hundreds of researches have been done on smoking, people around the world still smoke. Teenagers, who will soon become adults, are hammered with anti smoking posters, and TV and radio ads about anti smoking. The campaign against smoking is working but it isn't working as much as people hoped for. No matter how much effort is put into ads, people still smoke. On the Fremd website, it reports that 82% of the students do not smoke. Roughly, that means one out of every five students smoke cigarettes at Fremd High School. With Fremd containing around 2,800 students, it means that 560 students smoke. Fremd is considered one of the top high schools in the state of Illinois. I can't help but to think if Fremd has over 500 students smoking, how many students smoke in schools where the environment is much worse than Fremd. What causes these students to begin smoking? There are multiple answers to the question, but one of them is the social pressure from other students. A student can be influenced almost too easily by his or her friends. Teenagers wish to belong to a group in high school and if that group smokes, they will certainly join. Peer pressure results in teenagers making foolish decisions that will impact rest of their lives. Just because it may seem “cool” to smoke, it may not always be the right thing. Another reason for smoking can be to lose weight. Teenagers are very judgmental and are very conscious of their body. Many teens go on a diet to look thinner and beautiful. What teenagers don't know is that smoking actually has no affect on weight. Instead of trying to use cigarettes to lose weight, exercise is the best way to go. Finally, it is widely believed that smoking will calm the nerves. This is another false fact. From the first cigarette a person smokes, they will become addicted to nicotine. Every moment after, the body will crave for nicotine and the person may feel anxious. By smoking again, the body gets a dose of nicotine that it wanted and it makes the person feel relaxed. If a person had not started smoking, they would not be feeling nervous in the first place. Smoking only relives the stress put on from smoking.

Smoking has absolutely zero ways to help a person. It will only cause cancer and result in a premature death. Smoking does not make you cool, thin, or relaxed. Instead, you will appear immature and foolish. You will not become thin and beautiful but instead have stained teeth and fingers along with bad body odor. You will not become relaxed but feel nervous and anxious. If you love your friends and family, stop smoking. Especially if the people are exposed to your smoke. You are killing yourself along with the people around you. If you know a person who smokes, reach out a hand and offer help. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. The worst thing that could happen is the smoker rejecting the help. However, if you do succeed and show the person that you do care about them, you just might end up saving a life.

The author's comments:
I wrote it for my AP Language and Composition class. After reading this article, I hope people would stop smoking.

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This article has 4 comments.

Helene BRONZE said...
on Apr. 13 2011 at 6:55 pm
Helene BRONZE, Arvada, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
when you look back 30 years from now you don't look at what you were wearing but what you learned

i totally agree I hte the smell of smoke!

i cant believe the ratio of number of students that smoke to the number that dont. i ill never ever smoke!!!


on Jan. 15 2011 at 10:51 am
Dragonscribe BRONZE, West Lafayette, Indiana
4 articles 0 photos 303 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A Person's a Person no Matter how Small"
"A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet"
"God helps those who help themselves"

I would advise making this article shorter. It's too thick to read attentatively.

irawr BRONZE said...
on Jan. 2 2010 at 1:26 pm
irawr BRONZE, Solon, Maine
1 article 1 photo 48 comments

Favorite Quote:

I agree jen you started to make me dizzy haha....and this article is AMAZING! it really brings out the truth in smoking :)

Breingan122 said...
on Dec. 24 2009 at 6:37 pm
Breingan122, Solon, Maine
0 articles 0 photos 22 comments
I'm the first to comment on this? OH MY. this was spectacular in many ways!! haha. you are so right! i will never start smoking. people everywhere nowadays are smoking and it disgusts me. its so gross! they must be extremely dumb to start smoking. i agree with you 100% percent. and you write very well. keep it up! :D wow, i used big words. haha.