Nicotine is a very poisonous and addictive drug, as much or more addictive than heroin or cocaine. You have the right to know that for years manufacturers have also been adding chemicals to enhance the effects of nicotine to help ensure the quick addiction of anyone who starts smoking.
Here's something to think about. Teens most often start to smoke because they think it makes them look like adults. The truth is that adults rarely start smoking if they did not start when they were teens! Making the decision NOT to smoke shows a lot more maturity than choosing to start. Tobacco manufacturers work hard at making smoking look attractive to teens because they know if they do not hook you before you finish high school, they have almost certainly lost another lifetime customer.
After alcohol, nicotine is the next most widely used drug by both young people and adults.
Look at yourself and nine other friends. If you all choose to smoke, only one of you will succeed in quitting, EVER! The other nine will spend enough money on cigarettes in your lifetimes to buy each of you a house or several cars. Three of you will have chosen to die a horrible and painful death from smoking-related diseases.
50 of the 4000 known chemical compounds found in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Chemicals that circulate through your body every time you take a drag include carbon monoxide, ammonia, lead and acetone. Nicotine directly affects blood pressure and heart rate as well as the nerves that control your breathing. Nicotine is so deadly that it has been highly effective as a pesticide for centuries. Smokers can look forward to high blood pressure, smelly breath and clothes, loss of stamina and wrinkled skin. Later, they can expect to develop emphysema, suffer from heart attacks or strokes... not to mention cancer. Smokers also invade the health of everyone by polluting our air. Who wins? Our research indicates that the only benefit to smoking is if you own stock in a tobacco company!
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Illustrations by Bob Hahn