The Issue

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0%            10%             20%            30%            40%             50%

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Source: World Health Organization

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Current tobacco products resemble harmless candy, which is one of the marketing tactics used in order to mask the detrimental consequences of products such as vapes.

     Approximately 38 million youths worldwide use tobacco products. Although some may think that the issue of youth using tobacco is decreasing since smoking is losing its popularity in some places, newer tobacco products such as e-cigarettes are gaining popularity among an unknowing audience. 

     Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Since vaping is relatively new, the long-term effects of vaping are not yet known; but it can cause lung injuries and seizures. Nicotine, which is present in both cigarettes and vapes, can permanently damage the brain, leading to anxiety, mood swings, and learning difficulties. 

     Still, these harms are masked through the marketing done by tobacco and e-cigarette corporations. The tobacco industry is targeting lower and middle income countries. With flavors, social media campaigns, and scholarships, e-cigarette companies attract youths to get hooked onto their products.

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Tobacco Usage Myths Busted: 

“Occasional smoking won’t hurt me.”

        False: There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Even relatively small amounts can damage your blood vessels and make your blood more likely to clot, causing heart attacks, strokes, and even sudden death. (CDC)

 

“Vaping is safe.”

        False: In January 2020, 57 deaths caused by vaping have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC)

 

“Tobacco usage helps relieve stress.”

        False: While the symptoms may be masked, using tobacco products causes blood vessels to constrict, causes muscles to become tense, and causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. So, stress is actually increased with tobacco usage.  (Marine Corps Community Service)

 

“Young people don't need to worry about the health effects of smoking.”

        False: Smoking causes many short-term health effects, and those who smoke at a young age may have premature deaths. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. It causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. (CDC)

 

“If you use tobacco products at a social event, you won’t get addicted.”

        False: Anyone who uses tobacco products can become addicted to nicotine. (American Cancer Society)

 

“Second hand smoke does not affect you.”

        False: Exposure to second-hand smoke kills over 600,000 people every year. (WHO)