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For Teens: What You Should Know About Smoking

Smoking has been linked with many serious illnesses. It's also 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:

  • Make other people not want to be around you

  • Make people feel like they're kissing an ashtray

  • Make you, your clothes, your car, and your surroundings stink

  • Make some people not want to date you

Facing facts

Hear the facts about smoking from those who have been doing it for a few years. Find 1 or 2 smokers. Ask a few questions. See if their answers sound something like these:

Are you glad you started smoking?

Portrait of young man.

“Not really. It seemed cool then. Now I worry about cancer and problems like that. And it's expensive. A pack of cigarettes can cost more than $10."

Does smoking make you feel better?

Portrait of young woman.

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

Have you thought about quitting?

Portrait of young woman.

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

To learn more

Find helpful tips and resources to help you quit smoking at:

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
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