Teen Smoking

Essay by smillsCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2006

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Have you ever gone to a movie that had ads with great reviews, only to find that it was a waste of time and money? But by then it was too late. You'd already spent the money on a ticket and popcorn.

Advertising can make almost anything look attractive. That's what I think tobacco companies and their advertisers have done with smoking. They've taken a habit that's smelly, expensive, and unhealthy and tried to convince us that it's cool and exciting.

Tobacco companies use advertising to manipulate both teens and adults. They present images that are hard to deal with even when you know the truth. Have you ever seen a cigarette ad where people are wrinkled, middle-aged, and coughing or in the hospital dying of lung cancer? Of course not! In most ads, smokers are shown the way that teens would like to be: attractive, sophisticated, or rebellious and cool.

According to Christy Feig of the CNN Medical Unit, "Tobacco companies deny they target teens. Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro and the largest cigarette maker in the country, said it invests about $100 million per year in programs to encourage teens not to smoke. Company officials have said they target only adults who choose to smoke" (par. 11). Now let me ask you this, how many people do you know started smoking as an adult?

In all reality, "[Smoking] accounts for over 400,000 deaths a year" (Fibkins 3). William Fibkins also states that, "[t]obacco is the most preventable cause of death in the United States (3). The only way of preventing the large numbers of teen smokers is for them to never start smoking, right? That's easier said than done.

With more and more families having both parents in the workforce, children are often left by themselves for...