Smoking - what is the point?

By Abe Kroeker
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba


Can anybody tell me why there are more people smoking today than ever before? It's because so many more young kids, especially teenagers are trying it.

I believe that the teenagers want to "get over" with the rest of the group. The kids want to be accepted as one of them and they don't want to be different from anybody else. So they give into peer pressure and take the cigarette.

I think many kids who smoke today do it not only to fit in, but because they have a low self-esteem. When you have low self-esteem, you don't believe in yourself, in anything you do and probably think you won't accomplish much. Sometimes kids don't feel like they are wanted or cared for much by family and friends, so they start smoking. They probably think since nobody cares about them, then they shouldn't give a damn about what they do either.

But can we think about the consequences for just a second? What are the health risks involved with smoking? Well, to name a few, you can get lung cancer, heart disease and suffer strokes. You'll have trouble breathing and your heart will have to work twice as hard as before when doing various physical activities. And it can also effect your family, especially the children, as second-hand smoke is more dangerous than first-hand smoke itself.

Who would want to smoke anyway? It's a waste of your hard-earned money and smoking is just like throwing it away. Think about it - it's like taking money and just throwing it into the sewer or burning it. It would be quite hard to do that, but in reality that's exactly what smoking is like.

And the amount of time that you put into smoking is just ridiculous. Think of what you could do during the time you smoke. You could be playing baseball with your kids, going for a jog or spending more time with your family. If you are smoking as you read this, just think about the fact that you are literally wasting your life away and cutting it shorter with every cigarette that you have. That doesn't mean that everybody who smokes will die sooner, but you never know who it will be.

So be smart and just say "no" to smoking and do the things you want to do in your spare time, instead of wasting your time, money and life. And if you are still thinking about trying it, go pucker-up to an exhaust pipe and tell me how it tastes. Then you'll know what it is like to smoke.