Kick Butts Day is on March 19, a national day for activism led by The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Its aim to lower the numbers of people getting sick and dying due to cigarette smoking by promoting the spread of information regarding the dangers of tobacco use in both children and adults.
The sad but bitter truth about cigarette smoking is that addiction starts at a very young age, with so many individuals becoming strongly addicted to the destructive habit before they even reach the age of 18. This is why the focus of the tobacco-free campaign is geared towards the young, because that is where experimentation begins, where kids are at their most vulnerable, eager to try new things that are not necessarily good for their health.
The current situation with tobacco use is that it is currently the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, where over 3,000 curious kids lighting their first cigarette daily. This is an alarming scenario and something clearly has to be done to make sure youngsters do not fall for the trap that tobacco companies have set up for them. Clearly people are paying for something that offers the promise of temporary relief but a lifetime of regret.
Why is Cigarette Smoking So Harmful?
According to World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), smoking has the following dangerous and life threatening effects:
For young adults, the effects come in both respiratory and non-respiratory problems, including nicotine addiction and the increased chances of unnecessary drug use. In terms of long-term health consequences, smokers have a diminished lung function when compared to those who never smoked a day in their lives.
Adults smokers are more likely to develop heart disease and experience stroke. Telltale signs also become evident among younger smokers.
In terms of physical fitness, smokers’ stamina and performance are affected, even those who have years of training in competitive sports. An individual who smokes a pack or more in a day takes away approximately (and quite sadly) seven years of his or her life.
When resting in between physical activities, the heart rates of young smokers will be two to three beats ahead per minute than those who do not smoke.
Smoking at such an early age increases the chances of of developing lung cancer, as well as other smoking-related cancers, as long as the person continues to smokeas he ages.
Shortness of breath would about three times more common among teen smokers than teenage non-smokers. Smokers’ bodies also produce more phlegm, around twice as much, than non-smokers.
Frequent visits to the doctor or other medical health professionals is a common occurrence among teen smokers, especially for psychological or emotional issues.
- Another equally disconcerting thought is that teens who are already familiar to smoking are more likely to drink alcohol, use marijuana, and prohibited drugs such as cocaine. It is even linked to certain acts of violence and lasciviousness.