Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Smoking Even though there are millions of dollars spent annually on anti-smoking campaigns each year in the United States, approximately 3000 teens light up for the first time everyday. Over eighty percent of people that smoke started when they were under the age of eighteen. Teenagers are aware of the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes but few of these adolescents that do start the deadly and expensive habit are rarely concerned with the irreversible effects that smoking has on the body. "I can smoke for a few years then quit."� Or, "I can smoke now and then and won't get addicted."� That is the general attitude of most teens that start.

Smoking has several long term and permanent effects on the body including the most irreversible, death. Over 500,000 Americans die every year from smoking related causes. That is one in every five deaths of Americans. Smoking creates severe problems in the lungs, the heart, the eyes, the throat, the urinary tract, the digestive system, the bones, and the skin.

The most familiar problems associated with smoking are cancers of several organs including the lungs, emphysema, and various types of heart disease; which may lead to heart attacks; ulcers, and generally bad personal hygiene.

Once addicted to nicotine, the alkaloid that makes cigarettes addictive, it may be extremely difficult to quit. Nicotine is one of the most addictive alkaloids known to man and several studies have been conducted to show that of the 46 million smokers in the United States, 34 percent try to quit each year but less than 10 percent succeed. Long-term studies show that more than half of the smoking population will die from their addiction.

Teens start smoking for all sorts of reasons but lets take a look at teens that have already made that...