Youth Smokers Unfazed by Risks


Is this the hand of a teenager or an adult? Regardless, smoking does not discriminate between ages. The health risks are real for all smokers. Photo by Adambindslev

    “If you want to smoke, you’ll smoke [pull quote]…” Simon Clark, director of smokers’ group Forest, said in article written by BBC News on young smokers.

    Smoking is not deterred by age. According to the BBC News article 11 to 16-year-old smokers, who were shown images depicting the dangers (like diseased lungs or heart surgery), had no qualms about the risks. The study produced by Stirling University involved 2,800 children, and was published by the Tobacco Control journal. One in 10 was a smoker, while the others were those who had experimented with it or were non-smokers. Non-smokers and experimental smokers, however, were affected by the depicted images.

The health dangers of smoking are well known. For instance:

    1. Cardiovascular Disease

    The leading cause of death in the United States is Cardiovascular Disease. Cigarette smoking, for example, can lead to decreased circulation of blood and the weakening of the aorta.

    2. Respiratory Disease

   Smoking can cause a number of lung diseases from daming airways in the lungs, as well as, other compartments–bronchitis, for example.

    3. Cancer

   Smoking is one habit that is reported to cause cancer of the lungs, bladder, kidneys and more.

    And by no means is this a close to full list of the health dangers of smoking.

    If the health dangers of smoking are well known, then why are children as young as 11-years-old smoking?

One researcher, in the article, suggests that there is a risk of people becoming desensitized to the images portrayed so often in the media and educational facilities. Regardless, it is startling that children at the age of 11 are smoking. Increased awareness of youth smokers is a must if there is hope to assist children who have been introduced to this drug.