Did you know that over 3,000 kids under 18 try smoking for the first time every day? According to Kick Butts Day, 700 of these 3,000 kids will become regular smokers. Kick Butts Day takes place every March 15th to encourage American youth to speak out against this tobacco use in hopes of eliminating and preventing nicotine addiction in teens. It is extremely important for teens to learn about the side effects and consequences of using tobacco primarily because it is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Facts about Smoking Cigarettes from the CDC
- Causes 480,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
- Increases the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke, which leads to death
- Causes about 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and women
- Makes it harder for women to become pregnant and can affect the baby’s health
- Reduces the fertility of men’s sperm
- Causes tooth loss
- Decreases the immune system
Steps to Quit Smoking Cigarettes
The CDC recommends taking three steps to quit smoking. The first is to build a quit plan. In this preparation stage, you will determine your quit date, identify your reasons to quit, and develop coping strategies. In the next stage, you will learn to manage your cravings. This can primarily be done by staying active. For example, former smokers recommend chewing gum to keep your mouth busy or going for a walk to boost your energy. Lastly, find support. Listen to motivating stories from former smokers or watch YouTube videos of smoking campaigns to find the encouragement you need to get through the tough days.