What Parents and Teens Need to Know About Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Parents have the biggest influence in their kids’ lives. Teach your children on the dangers of smoking and how it kills people while they are still young. So when they reach their teens, they don’t see smoking as something that is cool, instead they see it as a stupid way to harm your health.

Emphasize this information when their friends start smoking, or have tried it themselves. This is may not be easy at first but for sure, they’re listening deep inside. Below are smoking facts parents and teens need to know.

While there is still more to discover about cigarette smoke, studies have long established that it contains more than 7000 potent chemicals, 250 of which are poisonous, and 70 are known to cause cancers.


When cigarette smoke reaches the lungs, the chemicals are quickly absorbed into your blood stream and reach every organ and tissue in your body. Every puff of cigarette smoke can contain the following:

  • Tar – This chemical is used to pave driveways and streets. It also causes the yellow color in smoker’s teeth.
  • Hydrogen Cyanide – It a common ingredient for rat poison. In WWII it was use as a genocidal weapon.
  • Benzene – It is chemical used to manufacture gasoline.
  • Acetone – This is a common chemical used in parlors and in homes. It is used to remove nail polish.
  • Formaldehyde – This is used in morgues to preserve cadavers. It’s also has many industrial uses such as fungicide, used in most adhesives and glues.
  • Ammonia – A common household chemical used in cleaning. Ammonia also makes cigarettes more addictive.
  • Carbon Monoxide – The common example of this harmful compound is car exhaust.
  • Cadmium – A heavy metal found in batteries.
  • Vinyl Chloride – A known carcinogenic. Commonly used to manufacture PVCs or polyvinyl chloride. It is used to make the filters in cigarette.
  • Radioactive Metals – You may not know it, but YES! Cigarettes contain radioactive materials. Fertilizers used to boost tobacco production normally contain these particles and absorbed by the plant.
  • Nicotine – the most common compound found in cigarette smoke used in many pesticides. It is also blamed for the addictive property of tobacco.

Some Teen Smoking Facts


  • In the US, around 4000 individuals below 18 years old try their first cigarette. And from this number, 1000 becomes a regular smoker.
  • Teen smokers are more vulnerable to alcohol and drug use, and high risk sexual activities.
  • Teens who smoke get sick more frequently.
  • Unlike their non-smoking counter parts, teen smokers have weaker lungs and hearts.
  • The longer they smoke, the more they get addicted. The number of cigarettes they smoke every day easily piles up.
  • There are around 4.5 million juveniles in the US who smoke.
  • There is no “safe” tobacco. Spits, cigars, and pipes pose similar threats.
  • Teens who smoke at an early age are more likely to become long-tern nicotine dependent.
  • Smoking kills more American than car accidents, AIDS, suicide, homicide, alcohol, and illegal drugs collectively.
  • Smokers are more likely to die 7 years earlier than non-smoking counterparts.
  • Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death.

Be more active. Prepare your child and arm them with knowledge. Encourage them not to smoke. Educating your child early on prepares them when they reach their teenage years. And most importantly, if you don’t want your child to be a smoker, don’t be a smoker yourself.



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