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One in Four High School Seniors Smoke: Is It an 'Epidemic'?

SodaHead Living 2012/03/09 18:46:19
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It's pretty hard to believe in 2012, but a whopping 25 percent of high school seniors are regular cigarette smokers, the U.S. surgeon general's office said in its first report on youth smoking since 1994, according to Reuters. And the habit often starts long before high school.

student smoking

"Today, more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke. We don't want our children to start something now that they won't be able to change later in life," Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin said in the report. Nine in 10 current smokers started before the age of 18, and here's where it gets really scary: Because it's so hard to quit, some 80 percent of high school smokers will continue to smoke as adults, the report says.

The good news: U.S. smoking rates have fallen since 1964, when the surgeon general issued the first smoking warning. But the habit, which has been linked to lung cancer and heart disease, kills more than 1,200 people every day, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, Reuters reports.

Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, called for more action in a statement. "Until we end the tobacco epidemic, more young people will become addicted, more people will die and more families will be devastated by the suffering and loss of loved ones." Do you think youth smoking is an "epidemic"?
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Top Opinion

  • ehrhornp 2012/03/09 23:56:13
    No
    ehrhornp
    +10
    I think the number of smokers in the general population is around 25% so it doesn't seem like teenagers are much different. Dumb move on their part however. Also if 25% are smokers that means 75% are not.

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  • S* 2012/03/10 14:00:57
    Yes
    S*
    +3
    If 25 percent of high schoolers were addicted to crack, that would be an epidemic, but I guess because big business is managing this addiction, it is okay.
  • mountainman 2012/03/10 13:21:59
    No
    mountainman
    +2
    No, it's a choice. God Bless the U.S.A. for FREEDOM TO CHOOSE. Now if we can just get the Government off our backs and stop trying to legislate morality and let life run it's course. Leave the Constitution alone...better yet, let's restore it!
  • mountai... mountai... 2012/03/10 13:30:10
    mountainman
    +1
    OH MY GOD, I got started and can't stop...Talking about suffering and loss...I lost a Sister in a car accident over 30 years ago. It was in a Datsun Lil' Hustler pickup truck. So are you saying to me that to relieve the suffering and loss in this incident could have been prevented if we just would have outlawed driving? I lost a cousin 40 or so years ago because of a brain tumor...so are you saying to me that to relieve the suffering and loss in this event that everyone should have their brains removed? Sounds like many already have. Preemptive strike! No, I have my brain, so yes I am at risk of projecting upon my family the same suffering and loss I have experienced in my life.
  • JackoClubs mountai... 2012/03/10 16:07:45
    JackoClubs
    +1
    LOL...well said. Here's what I wrote, above:

    "Why are these busybody meddlers always so surprised when their efforts to modify and control people's behavior, fail?
    They act like kids smoking is a brand-new phenomenon; my dad once told me he started smoking at age 9. MY DAD, who was born in 1940.
    More than half the seniors I graduated with smoked; hell, probably more than half the school, and I graduated in 1985.

    Smoking isn't a good, or smart thing, of course, but a lot of people do it, despite regulation and punitive taxation."
  • Jewellery Gal 2012/03/10 13:16:39
    Yes
    Jewellery Gal
    +2
    That is a lot but it's not surprising. I smoked from 18 to 25.
  • bob h. 2012/03/10 12:58:13
    No
    bob h.
    +2
    Another BS survey. They usually come out before they raise taxes. There's so much illegal in this country, due to the GOP/Evangelical fear machine, there's nothing left to tax. It's interesting that since 80% of smokers quit, life expectancy has gone DOWN just a little. Deaths from prescription drugs are thru the roof.
  • Roblem BN-0 2012/03/10 11:51:14
    Yes
    Roblem BN-0
    +2
    Young people are impressionable... that is why the tobacco industry has been targeting them for many, many years. Those f___ers know that if they can manage to get people addicted at a young age they have a really good chance of keeping them for life. Greed really sucks... it is sad what we do to each other. :-(
  • jenny.b... Roblem ... 2012/03/10 18:43:23
    jenny.bryan1
    +1
    Usualy tabacco leads to pot smoking then pot smoking leads to drugs and alcohol you're better off exsplaining this to your children while they're young otherwise they could be in danger as soon as they hit high school or just before it :O
  • Roblem ... jenny.b... 2012/03/11 03:32:59
    Roblem BN-0
    No way am I waiting until even jr high school. My daughter will have knowledge way before that time. Still... kids will some times make undesirable choices even with the knowledge. Given peer pressure and ad bombardments. We can arm them with tools but in the end they make the choices... and at young ages. I smoked my first cigarette when I was like 6 years old. Had my first beer at 11 and smoked pot around that time as well. I did not have the tools to deal with the trauma I experienced in my child hood so I self medicated for many years.
  • thє вluє wαndєrєr 2012/03/10 11:31:25
  • 4tell.me 2012/03/10 11:30:56
    Yes
    4tell.me
    +3
    Take a look at how smoking was promoted decades ago
    http://www.businesspundit.com...
    The "being cool" factor always plays a major role.
  • Miko 2012/03/10 11:24:11
    No
    Miko
    +2
    Didn't reach to the epidemic level yet
  • arief Cerberus Lucifer 2012/03/10 10:59:34
    Yes
    arief Cerberus Lucifer
    +2
    i started smoking when i 13
  • jenny.b... arief C... 2012/03/10 18:44:20
    jenny.bryan1
    +1
    I started at thesame age between 12,13,14ish I can't exscatly rembember but was around that timish :P
  • Beth_Ess_x 2012/03/10 10:29:00
    Yes
    Beth_Ess_x
    +2
    At my school, hardly any of the seniors smoke, most of the smokers are 1st year to 3rd years. I hate when i have to walk past them on the way into school because they cover you in smoke :(
  • lonewolf 2012/03/10 10:27:52 (edited)
    Yes
    lonewolf
    +2
    trying to look cool is not worth the risk of cancer.
  • Jana~ una chica loca 2012/03/10 10:14:23
    No
    Jana~ una chica loca
    +2
    is stupidity epidemic?
  • mr echo 2012/03/10 10:04:47
  • mountai... mr echo 2012/03/10 13:33:57
    mountainman
    HELL YEAH!! Well said Andrey!
  • martha mullins 2012/03/10 09:30:43
    Yes
    martha mullins
    +1
    I think some do it just to look cool. I know back when I went to school I did it to try to FIT IN. Truth is... I HATED it. But I stopped once I realized that I didn't HAVE TO do anything to fit in cause if I wanted to fit in with the kids who SMOKED and smoking was the ONLY way to fit in, it was NOT worth it.
  • Robert 2012/03/10 08:24:30
    No
    Robert
    +1
    I think they got that number wrong at least 80% of high school seniors smoke it's a fact. You might see kids who you think won't smoke they are also smokers too. They are not just seniors lots of high school students smoke even college kids smoke. The 80% of all people in the us do some type of drug they either smoke, drink, or do drugs, lets look at it this way they are the ones who you will see looking a lot older and having mental and health issues.
  • offendingshadows 2012/03/10 08:12:39
    Yes
    offendingshadows
    +2
    Smoking tis nasty for all ages.
  • Corsair 2012/03/10 07:30:20
    No
    Corsair
    +1
    It's an epidemic if it's 3/4. That crushes the theory how 1:3 people smoke overall. That statistic was 16 years old. It should have lessened to 1:5 people smoking overall by now.
  • Reach130 2012/03/10 07:30:07
    Yes
    Reach130
    +1
    Smoking kills. I don't get why people start when they know that...
    I'm 13 and I don't smoke, I never will.
  • Beat Ma... Reach130 2012/03/10 08:06:36
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    +1
    Don't ever work a graveyard shift job alone and you won't light up.
  • mr echo Beat Ma... 2012/03/10 10:06:44
  • Reach130 Beat Ma... 2012/03/11 07:58:33
    Reach130
    why would I work a graveyard shift job?
  • T raww<3 2012/03/10 07:25:14
    Yes
    T raww<3
    +1
    I don't see how all the drugs and marijuana are illegal but it's ok to smoke yourself to death with cigarettes, and harm others around you with those cancer sticks
  • Beat Ma... T raww<3 2012/03/10 08:07:07
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    +1
    The status quo on America's drug policy is very profitable.
  • reaper 2012/03/10 06:52:22
    No
    reaper
    +1
    i'm sure it used to be higher. in high school it seemed like a lot of people i knew at the time did. Yet i've always wondered about those that do smoke, what is it that got you to start? because i don't understand the idea of wanting to in the first place. help me out here those of you that do.
  • Stef an... reaper 2012/03/10 07:10:45
    Stef and the City
    +1
    Yea, a lot of people did smoke and still do... a lot of people also have lung cancer.
  • MissDiva 2012/03/10 06:38:47
    Yes
    MissDiva
    +2
    um yeah!!! One in four? That's a lot! Smoking altogether needs to be either illegal or cigarettes need to be discontinued. It kills so many people and many don't even care. It pisses me off
  • Stef an... MissDiva 2012/03/10 07:09:51
    Stef and the City
    Not to mention all the harm second hand smoking causes, especially for young children who are forced to be around it.
  • Brendan... MissDiva 2012/03/10 08:00:44
    Brendan Mcdonald
    I love my smokes >:)
  • Stef and the City 2012/03/10 05:53:09 (edited)
    Yes
    Stef and the City
    +3
    They'd be better off smoking marijuana. It's funny, one causes cancer the other is prescribed when you have it yet cigarettes are legal and marijuana is not. Does anyone else see something wrong with this?
  • MissDiva Stef an... 2012/03/10 06:40:10
    MissDiva
    +2
    I feel the exact same way.
  • T raww<3 Stef an... 2012/03/10 07:29:26
    T raww<3
    +1
    That's what I'm sayin, like literally I just commented that too
  • Stef an... T raww<3 2012/03/10 19:09:46
    Stef and the City
    +1
    Great minds think alike ;).
  • T raww<3 Stef an... 2012/03/10 21:12:46
    T raww<3
    Very true :)
  • FordCrews 2012/03/10 05:50:02
    Yes
    FordCrews
    +1
    It's an Obamination, 40 years of liberal mis education of the worlds kids is working, evil is working, the poor will remain poor, the middle class will become poor, and the rich will become richer. Hail, Obama!!!!! Hitler would be very, very elated.

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