Sample Tobacco Letter

(written by a seventh grade student, revised by Mr. Olson)

12/6/00

Dear Me,

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 people.
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!

 

From Me

(thanks to Suzanne for this letter)