Message to Teenagers
about Smoking Cigarettes

Reasons to not smoke other than it will kill you.

Caring about the Next Generation

In spite of all the health warnings, teenagers continue to get hooked on tobacco even though they all know that it's bad for them. It is therefore logical to conclude that a shallow knowledge of the health risks is not enough to convince teenagers to not smoke. I have given this issue a lot of thought and feel like we are missing the real reasons and the real issues behind smoking, and therefore I'm going to try to break new ground on this issue in an attempt to save future generations from the cycle of nicotine addiction.

I'm going to first start off by giving you a lot of much more powerful reasons to not smoke that you've never heard before. These will be reasons that you can easily verify are true. This will help lay a new foundation of understanding. I will then talk about human nature and how you will be tempted to smoke even though it is very bad for you. I will talk about how people are herd animals and how nicotine is introduced into your tribe. I will also talk about how the tobacco industry uses sex to get you to smoke.

It is my sincere desire that teenagers, like yourself, will read this message and pass it around as much as possible and that it will cause you to stop smoking if it isn't to late for you, or to not start smoking. My generation (baby boomers, Vietnam, Rock n' Roll, Hippies, Bill Clinton) were made addicts by our parents generation (World War II, Bob Dole). As our parents generation scrolls off the top of the screen, my generation is now coming into power. And it is now our turn to take responsibility for sending a new message into the future so that some day that your children won't grow up in a Nicobrain world.

Why am I doing this Web Page?

cover Some of you have sent me email asking why am I doing this page. I am trying to persuade people who don't smoke to not get started. This web page isn't targeted at those who are already smokers. If you are already hooked, good luck. I don't know what to tell you because that is beyond the realm of my experience. This page also isn't about smokers rights vs. non-smokers rights or trying to make cigarettes illegal. I am not here to try to tell you what to do or to moralize at you. And I am definitely not part of a religious group. I am merely hoping that after reading this page that if you don't smoke, you won't start.

This web page is dedicated to the memory of Rebecca Carolan who died of lymph and lung cancer on June 6th 1989 at the age of 39. You are not forgotten.

Life as a Smoker

cover Everyone knows that "smoking is bad for you". You know that if you start smoking that 1/3 of you will eventually die from it. And for the most part, that's about all you know. Is this enough reason to not smoke? No, it's not, and here's why.

Teenagers are immortal. Teenagers live forever. At least that's the way it seemed when I was a teenager. People's perception of time is logarithmic and when your 18 a "half lifetime" is 9 years. Your parents are 2-3 half lifetimes older than you and your grandparents are 4-6 half lifetimes older than you and in your mind that is like eternity and beyond the scope of your imagination. Thus, in your mind, the health effect form smoking are so far off in the future that it's beyond the limits of your imagination. Besides, surely by then they will cure cancer, right?

People of my generation (I'm 43) have a half lifetime of 21 years. We are looking at best at one more half lifetime of having good sex and then a half lifetime of growing old and dying. We are past the age where it is obvious that smoking is a bad idea. For those of you who don't know it, if you don't smoke before you're 20 you won't start. By the time you get to 25 you have developed the mental skills to be able to resist the social pressures to start. That's my theory at least. But the facts are that people over 20 don't start smoking. Smokers come from teen smokers who can't quit.

However, there are a lot of other reasons to not smoke other than taking a chance with cancer and heart attacks. These reasons are actually a lot stronger and affect you a lot sooner and affect all smokers. And I want to talk with you now about these reasons to lay a logical foundation as to why you don't want to be a Nicobrain.

Getting you Hooked

The tobacco industry wants your soul. In order for big tobacco to keep making the big bucks, they need to get you hooked while you are still young. Their own studies have shown that the earlier you get a kid addicted, the deeper the addiction. They need to get nicotine into your brain chemistry while your brain is still forming so that you will develop what I call the Nicobrain. A mind that is addicted so strongly that it alters your thought patterns to accommodate keeping you addicted.

Teenagers can be compared to young birds that are most vulnerable just about the time they are about to leave the nest. They are too old and mobile for the mother to keep protecting them, but to inexperienced to avoid those who would prey on them. In today's society there are those who prey on human young. And among the worst is the tobacco industry.

These people have spent millions of dollars in research money studying teenagers like rats in a cage to determine what kind of stimulus will make them want to smoke. And they have succeeded. That is why so many teenagers smoke today and they don't even know why they started. Do you think you might be being manipulated by the tobacco industry? Probably not. But that's what they want you to think.

Fighting Back

I wish it were easy to talk teenagers into not smoking. Many of you who read this will understand it and agree with me, but you will still go out and smoke. That's because you'll be with your friends and some of them will be like tribal leaders and they will smoke. Then when they smoke others in the group will smoke, and then someone will hand you a cigarette and you are expected to smoke it.

When this moment happens you will find it easier to smoke that to go to the effort to not smoke. If you don't smoke you will have to say why you don't smoke and you are likely to piss off those who are already addicted. As a youngster you may have never been taught the art of saying NO.

The word NO is the most important word for a teenager to know well. When other want you to do things you don't want to do you need to learn to say NO to them and to be strong enough that they have to back down and accept NO for an answer. If you can't say NO when they say "Aw Com'mon" you end up doing a lot of things you don't want to do.

As you get older you learn a lot of things you don't know when you're just a kid. People will always try to sucker you into things that aren't in your best interests. As a youngster you are more trusting and more foolish that people who are older and more experienced. In other words, kids like you are easier to sucker.

I know a lot of you don't like the idea that I think you're easy to sucker. You tend to think you know a lot more than you really do. It better though to be aware that there are people out there that want to take advantage of you and are very good at getting you to do what they want. If you know this then hopefully you will be more careful about the decisions to make.

Taking Responsibility

cover To grow up is not only about making your own choices, but to take responsibility for the choices you make. What you do affects who you become and if you make bad choices, you will get bad results. You are at an age where the choices you make will affect the rest of your life. If you screw up it is you who are screwing up. You are faced with a great many things. Do I smoke? When do I have sex? What if I get pregnant? What do I want to be? What do I believe in? Who do I trust? What drugs should I try? Who will I marry? Do I want kids? Do I want to go to college? These are important decisions and if you realize that if you make wrong choice that you will have to live with the results, it is my hope that you will choose more carefully.

Your Opinions

So, what do you think? I'd like to get your comments and suggestions about this web page. Talk to me about what you think about smoking and the issues I've raised. I want to know if you found my argument to be interesting. Did I talk you out of smoking? Which points did you find most persuasive?

* Letters about Smoking - Here's what people are saying about this page.
* Marijuana - The Truth about Smoking Pot.
* Patrick Reynolds - Grandson of R. J. Reynolds helps you quit smoking.
* Register to Vote - Why it's important for young people to vote.

This Stop Smoking Ring site owned by Marc Perkel.
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