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Kids and Smoking


The health risks of tobacco are well known, yet the rates of smoking and the use of chewing tobacco continue to grow. Many people are picking up these habits when they are young - in fact, 90% of all adult smokers started when they were kids. And each day, more than 4,400 kids become regular smokers.

So it's important to make sure your child understands the dangers that go along with using tobacco. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. It can cause cancer, heart disease, or lung disease. Chewing tobacco (smokeless or spit tobacco) can lead to nicotine addiction, oral cancer, gum disease, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks.

If you arm your child with information about the risks of smoking and chewing tobacco, and establish clear rules and your reasons for them, you can help prevent your child from picking up those unhealthy habits. If your child is already using tobacco, there are warning signs that can clue you in and constructive ways to help your child quit.

The Facts About Tobacco
One of the major problems with smoking and chewing tobacco has to do with the chemical nicotine. A person can get addicted to nicotine within days of a first encounter with it. In fact, the nicotine in tobacco can be as addictive as cocaine or heroine. Nicotine affects a person's mood as well as the heart, lungs, stomach, and nervous system.

And there are other health risks. Short-term effects of smoking include coughing and throat irritation. Over time, more serious conditions may develop, including increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking also leads to bronchitis and emphysema.

Finally, numerous studies indicate that young smokers are more likely to experiment with marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other illicit drugs. Jump to full text of this article here.

Categories: Children's Health, Health & Wellness,

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