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For Teens: What You Should Know About Smoking

Smoking has been linked with many serious illnesses. It also has been shown to increase signs of aging. When you smoke, your breathing becomes shallow and your lungs fill with smoke. This means you get less air. Cigarettes also fill your body with chemicals, such as nicotine and tar.

How Smoking Affects You

Smoking can:

  • Increase your risk for lung cancer, bladder cancer, and cervical cancer.

  • Raise blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.

  • Reduce blood flow, which can slow healing and cause wrinkles.

Facing Facts

Hear the facts about smoking from those who have been doing it for a few years. Find a smoker or two. Ask a few questions. See if their answers sound something like these:

Are you glad you started smoking?

“Not really. It seemed cool then. Now I worry about cancer and problems like that.”

 

Does smoking make you feel better?

“Maybe I feel better for a few minutes. But it sure hasn’t solved any of my problems.”

 

Have you thought about quitting?

“Yes, I try to quit all the time—but it’s hard.”

 

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