I’ll never forget the first time I tried a cigarette. Imagine the typical scenario: 16 years old at a friend’s house, after school, with a few cigarettes stolen from someone’s dad. I’m pretty sure that’s where a lot of people start. Peer pressure to be cool, pressure to feel in and pressure to be accepted.
I’m incredibly grateful that after one puff and some burning lungs I decided this wasn’t for me. The habit never stuck. But some are not so lucky. I’ve seen countless friends struggle to quit smoking and wish they’d never started all those years ago behind the school buildings.
Underage smoking is a pandemic that needs to be tackled head on. No if’s or butt’s. See what I did there…
Here are some facts that you should seriously consider if you are an underage smoker:
- 90% of smokers began before the age 19.
- About 30% of teen smokers will continue smoking and die early from a smoking-related disease.
- Teen smokers are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety disorders and depression.
- Studies have found that nearly all first use of tobacco takes place before high school graduation.
- On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
- According to the Surgeon General of the United States, teenagers who smoke are 3 times more likely to use alcohol, 8 times more likely to smoke marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine.
(Source: Do Something)
Think twice before you light up. Think twice about the kind of future you want to live. Think twice about underage smoking.
For more info on underage smoking search the hashtag #BATSA on Twitter. Click here if you’d like to read more.
Here are some other amazing South African celebs who are saying no to underage smoking:
— #MeetingYourPower #ERAbyDJZinhle #RockaXDJZinhle (@DJZinhle) August 2, 2017
Your body is a temple!
— Kyle Deutsch (@kyle_deutsch) August 2, 2017
— Sketchy Bongo (@SketchyBongo) July 11, 2017
A side note for adults who smoke: think about how your second hand smoke might affect those who are underage around you!