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One of the most rampant leading cause of death is smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes are silent killers that affect the body in every way possible. Underage smoking is one of the increasing issues in today’s setting. Smoking at an early age fulfill one’s satisfaction but may lead to chronic health complications. It is really evident as minors smoke wherever they want (e.g. stores near schools, parks, public places, etc.). Some of the reasons of underage smoking are peer pressure and the desire to look cool. Minors are being influenced to indulge into this addiction. As stated by Newman, I. (2013), many researchers concluded that peer pressure is the main factor in smoking among young people. It is “the group” that starts the practice of smoking. Meanwhile, adolescents tend to do it anyways in order to fit into the crowd. Younger people who start smoking at an early age are more likely to have a long-term addiction than people who started late. Minors are becoming oblivious regarding the effects of smoking. Some smoke cigarettes as a relief of what they are experiencing in their life. Mental health disorders among adolescents are prevalent, mostly shifted even adulthood, and shows to be oppositely connected with social status. Hence, they result in smoking to gain relaxation without even thinking that it will result to chronic health complications. This essay will tackle more the following topic to raise awareness on the part of the public citizens particularly the young and the teenage smokers.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a lot of reasons why young people smoke to mention some, such as social and physical environment. Because of this, teenagers are more likely to use cigarettes if they see people their age using these products, also the way mass media show some products about cigarette use as a normal activity. In mental health and personal views, teenagers nowadays are dealing with anxiety, depression and stress also teenagers acquire positive things from smoking. It is very notable when you enter in school premises, a lot of students who appeared to be hanging out outside of their classrooms but still inside the campus have different activities. There are groups busy discussing, students just walking around but there are still other group of young students engrossed in puffing their cigarettes. These scenes are very common during the examination period and other important events in school. One could only observe how the student easily consumed one stick of cigarettes after another. Some of the reasons why young students result to smoking are: it helps them relieve stress from the day’s hard study, others use smoking in order to socialize with their peers, and it is also one way of shifting their mood from studying to elevating their consciousness in being social and by way of rewarding themselves.
According to Gometz, E., smoking is the most principal and preventable cause of death and premature death in all countries. Cigarettes have been a fatal killer for people who use it. Underage smokers are the least susceptible at a young age but will suffer as they grow. Smoking, in general, causes lung cancer, shortens lifespan, heart diseases, stroke, etc. Over time, it also results into problems like gum diseases, yellow teeth, weaker bones, ulcers. Minors still use it anyways because of addiction. A cigarette contains very addictive nicotine that will convince the mind of the user to never stop smoking. Some smokers are unmindful on where they even smoke and their smoke is becoming a nuisance for other people’s health. Second-hand smoke is more damaging than the first-person. As underage individuals, we must think of our decision really well. Smoking is not worth the risk of being superior or cooler than non-smokers. We invest our lives making ourselves healthy instead of indulging within a vice at an early age. As parents, they must teach their children the disadvantages of using cigarettes while at an early age. Underage smokers who divert in smoking to gain relief should find an alternative in removing stress instead of using cigarettes. As adolescents who are prone to peer pressure, learn to object when offered because it has detrimental effects for one’s health at an early age.
As said by Meijer, peer pressure is a very strong stimulus for smoking in children. Curiosity among children is very common, they will do experiments to experience what they see on their parents and friends. Some of these underage cigarette users are not aware that smoking may also encourage other peers to smoke. To try something new is a form of showing curiosity, and that curiosity has an impact not only to oneself, but also to the other curious children. Children who see other children smoking may not know that it is a negative example. Parents must be aware of the environment of their children and must be a good image to their children. It is easy to encourage children into smoking most especially nowadays, and they lack knowledge about the health circumstances will happen after smoking cigarettes. The friends of these children are the number one suspects for peer pressure because they spend more time with each other and lives on the same environment. Also, these children became addicted in smoking cigarettes when they have discovered the feeling of satisfaction. Children that is surrounded by people that smoke cigarette has a really strong impact to influence and pressure them to do the same thing.
According to the Republic Act No. 9211 (2003), otherwise known as the ‘Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003’, makes it unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to purchase, sell or smoke tobacco products. The Philippine government has clearly stated the legality age of 18 years old, may purchase and smoke cigarettes. The government implemented this law to stop the abuse of these underage smokers. This law can help prevent underage children to be safe, healthy and be protected, as they are still in a vulnerable age and to clear up the severity of continuously increasing children with respiratory illnesses, decreased physical fitness and potential effects on lung growth and function. The shops are officially illegal to sell cigarettes to underage. Yet, many minor children still find a way to buy cigarettes and smoke cigarettes to fulfill their satisfaction because of addiction. These children are continuously hiding from the government and also to their parents for smoking. But the government did not consider the public street vendors and public local shops that can sell these children cigarettes, and selling it for a cheap price which children can still afford.
Smoking is bad for the health not only for the elders but more importantly it is dangerous for the underage smokers. Henceforth, smoking at an early age fulfill one’s satisfaction but may lead to chronic health complications. The guardians as a champion of the people must do everything within its power to curb down the growing population of teenage smoking. They must provide ways and means to educate not only the smokers themselves but the whole community, especially the members of the family. Because by doing so, one will save a young or a teenager from having unhealthy lifestyles.
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