“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Despite a recent decline in cigarette use among teens, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Teenagers turn to tobacco as a coping mechanism that can often lead to other risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. In a recent survey, nearly 90% of adult smokers claimed they smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18. At-risk teens often think they will never become addicted, despite the fact that three of four teen smokers will become adult smokers.
Why is it dangerous? In addition to inhaling smoke into their lungs, nicotine negatively affects a teenager’s brain development, and the craving levels are much more amplified. The earlier an individual begins to smoke, the easier it is to get addicted and more difficult it becomes to quit. And, while cigarette use has steadily decreased over the last decade, the use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed among teenagers since 2015. This has created a recent epidemic among adolescents, and the long term effects of e-cigarette are still unknown.
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