Teen Smoking This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Teen Smoking



by Lazer D., Oak Park, MI Anyone who knows me, knows that I am anti- smoking. I have friends who smoke. Sure, I don't want them to, but they do anyway, and I hate it. I often asked my friends why they need to smoke to feel cool. They would respond with answers like "I can't help it; I'm hooked. It's not my fault I can't stop smoking." Or they'd say "I need it to relax," and of course the famous "It just feels good." Ridiculous.

One night I was hanging out with my friend who is a smoker. He was like, "Hey, man, take a cig." We were in my home so I didn't smoke it. I just had the cigarette stuck in my mouth. I was walking around like I was cool, with my brother (who also had a cigarette in his mouth), playing out scenes from "Good Will Hunting." We felt cool, holding the cigarette in different positions, flicking the butt. Then, my brother, Joe and I went out to buy something. Joe suggested we go by the park and have a puff. I was about to decline when I thought, Let me just try it and see what all the rave is about.

I found out exactly what it's all about. The whole thing was a rush - from the first puff until I stubbed it out, leaving a stain of ashes on the cement. I felt so cool, watching the smoke coming out of my mouth. My brother and I practiced trying to have a conversation while smoking. Wasn't that cool? Remember how Matt Damon flicked his butt in "Good Will Hunting"? "That's cool! Let's do that!" raved my younger brother. It was the high point of the week - how cool we felt smoking.

So now I have figured out the problem. Teen smoking is one of the biggest problems America faces today, and it is leading to the corruption of the next generation. Smoking cigarettes can lead to smoking other things - and I am not talking about salmon. And why do teens do it? I'll tell you - we think it's the coolest thing! How do we stop? The answer is obvious: make smoking not cool. And I don't mean having some puppet or basketball player tell us it's bad. I mean have movies that teens will watch without smoking in them. That's right - ban smoking in all tv shows and movies. Get former teen smoking addicts to talk to classes about the dangers of smoking and how to kick the habit. That is what America needs. Put up all the warnings you want about lung cancer - nobody cares. Teens won't listen to a warning. Have lung cancer patients come into schools and tell the kids their stories firsthand. Give teens cold hard facts; nothing else will do. Give them proof, hard proof, sad proof. Don't feel bad. Believe me, teens can take it. I know if we did it would drastically decrease the number of teen smokers. And this isn't a politician talking - it's me, a 15-year-old kid who almost got hooked on smoking.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Fever said...
Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:36 am
I really liked this article and the message it had with it. Thanks for the insightful and helpful recounts! :)
 
kid fresh said...
Jan. 7, 2011 at 8:21 am
THATZ NT KOOL
 
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