Orestis N. Pennsylvania

Smoking Kills

Smoking causes the deaths of nearly half a million Americans per year, which is a big problem

Dear Mr. President,

Smoking is a serious topic that can destroy the lives of many people, and I think we need to crack down on it.

Before I get started, there are some statistics from the CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) you should know about smoking.

“Nearly 18 of every 100 US adults aged 18 years or older (17.8%) currently smoke cigarettes. This means an estimated 42.1 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.”

“Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths.”

“More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.”

Now, given these facts, if you knew absolutely nothing about smoking before and you had the choice of smoking or not smoking, which would you choose?

One time, I was in Greece and my family and I were eating dinner outside at a restaurant with some relatives. It was my brother, my parents, and I, plus three of our relatives. None of us smoke, but all of my relatives at the table did. One particular time when we were waiting for our food, all three people were smoking at the same time, and my mom couldn’t help but gag (luckily my brother and I were at the far end of the table).

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, my point is smoking is terrible for you and the people around you, not to mention it’s a waste of your money and bad for the environment.

Now, one might argue that tobacco companies are good for the economy.

Here’s my view: if supporting the economy has the cost of other people DYING, it’s not worth it! Think about it; decent economic support, or people DYING, which is more important?

The way I look at it, smoking is like casually sitting in a burning house. You might not notice it at first, but it’s actually slowly killing you, and things around you.

So, how might we fix this problem? Well, how do you normally kill a weed; at its roots, which begs the question: why do people start smoking in the first place?

According to healthliteracy.worlded.org, people can start for many different reasons. Apparently, most people start when they are young and are then addicted. One of the most common reasons is to look mature and grown up. Young people want to think that they’re grown up so they might turn to smoking.

Another common reason is either wanting to fit in or peer pressure. People could have friends (or so they think) who have smoked for whatever reason and they might want to be “cool” or “fit in” so they follow in their lead. It could be the same thing with an older sibling.

Next, people might start just to “experiment” or “see what it’s like”. However, in the long run it doesn’t matter if you were “just trying it” because it’s the same thing, one way or another.

Still, other people smoke for different reasons. Older people may start smoking because of stress, weight, or simply because it’s enjoyable to them.

Smoking is a win-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose. In math, that would be 1+(-5) or 1-5, which is -4, which is more cons than pros.

If you’re to take one thing from this, if you closely know someone who smokes, encourage them to quit. Also, if you don’t smoke, don’t start.

So, like I said earlier, smoking is terrible not only in the fact that you’re harming yourself, you’re also harming people around you and the environment, plus you’re wasting money.

Bala Cynwyd Middle School

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