Every day, more than 3,000 U.S. teenagers become regular smokers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The younger people are when they start smoking, the more likely they are to die of lung cancer. People who start puffing before age 15 have cancer rates 19 times higher than non-smokers.The professional group has published a new brochure: "Smoking: Guidelines for Teens." One section, for example, states: "Slick advertisements are designed to encourage people to smoke. They depict attractive women and rugged men. These ads never mention the harmful effects, such as bad breath, stained teeth, heart disease and cancer. Nor do they tell you how offensive smoking is to others.
"As one teenage girl puts it, `Kissing a boy who smokes is like kissing a dirty ashtray.' "
To obtain copies of the brochure, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to:
Teen Smoking, Department C
American Academy of Pediatrics
P.O. Box 927
Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0927.