(written by a seventh grade student, revised by Mr. Olson)
I am writing this letter to tell myself of all the horrible things that can happen to me if I were to start smoking. Smokers are rarely on school teams or get Aís and Bís in achievement.
Also, about every
1-minute people in America die from smoking and I donít want to be one of those
About 3 out of 4 people donít smoke, but 1,200 Americans still die each day from smoking, Thatís an amazing 420,000 Americans each! Also, 2-3 million people die annually worldwide.
Many people are attracted to smoking because of cigarette ads. Most ads are in magazines and build an unconscious association of smoking and strong positive role models. If I were to smoke I would also hurt other people. Secondhand smoke causes up to 300,000 lung infections in young children a year and kills about 40,000 nonsmokers each year.
Only 25% of adults still
smoke. 90% of the people that do smoke get hooked before the age of 19, and
most of those people start before the age of 14. The only reason people keep
smoking is because nicotine is extremely addictive. Four out of five smokers
say they would like to quit. Those who try to quit have to try an average of
eleven times before they are successful!
There are many
consequences that come with each puff of a cigarette. It gives you disgusting
yellow teeth, which means you will spend more on dentist bills. Smoking causes
bad breath. ďKissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray.Ē It makes your
clothes and hair stink. The scent would never leave, and people wouldnít want
to be around you. Smoking wrecks the smell and taste of food, so you wonít be
able to enjoy your favorite food. Smoking is also very expensive. If you smoke
youíll always be broke. You can also harm other people because secondhand smoke
causes coughing, wheezing, colds, and asthma attacks. Chewing tobacco can cause
cracked lips, white spots, sores, and bleeding in the mouth. Other problems of
smoking are it damages your body, itís almost impossible to quit, itís a very
bad habit, and various other reasons.
There are more then 20
different life threatening problems of smoking. Some of them are heart disease,
emphysema, lung cancer, a stroke, Beurgerís disease, voice box cancer, mouth
cancer, tongue cancer, and bladder cancer. Heart disease is the number 1 killer
of smokers and it is when the arteries in your heart clog up. Emphysema is when
you lose the ability to take in oxygen. Millions of people have this disease
and most are smokers. If it gets bad enough you may have to carry around an
oxygen tank. Lung cancer is when cells grow out of control and the virus
spreads throughout the body. About 160,000 people die each year from lung
cancer and 90% of them are smokers. A stroke is a blood clot in brain artery.
Beurgerís disease is when someone (a smoker) has poor circulation to fingers
and toes and it has to be removed. Smoking causes 70% of the amputation. Voice
box cancer results in loss of your voice box. Sometimes you have to get it
removed and it leaves an artificial hole in your body. Mouth cancer is
basically from chewing tobacco, which is not safer then smoking. Tongue cancer
is a disgusting tumor that grows on your tongue. Bladder cancer is when
nicotine irritates the bladder and it has to be removed. All of theses diseases
are deadly so donít smoke!
I am never going to start smoking because it is life threatening to yourself and the people around you. I would never want to put my life in danger like that. Benefits of me not smoking are that I will have 20 more years of life, I will save money (which could be better spent), and I will be able develop my basketball and cheerleading skills. My breath will be fresh, my skin will look healthier, I wonít smell, and I will not be breaking the law. There are no benefits of smoking. So, I will never smoke because I want to live a long healthy life. See you next year!
(thanks to Suzanne for