There are lots of reasons why someone might start smoking — maybe they see their parents smoke or they think it will help them relax or other people pressure them to do it. But there are so many more reasons not to smoke.

  • Smoking can cause painful, serious diseases like cancer and emphysema. It can really hurt many parts of your body, including your bones and your heart. Let’s face it: Smoking kills huge numbers of people.
  • The tobacco in cigarettes contains thousands of chemicals, including stuff that’s in batteries, rat poison, and car exhaust.
  • The nicotine in cigarettes reaches your brain in seconds. It makes you feel good at first, but in less than an hour the good feelings go away and you can start feeling nervous or moody.
  • You may think you’ll just try a few cigarettes. Tobacco is addictive, though, which means it can be very hard to stop once you start.
  • Smoking affects the vocal cords, which can ruin your voice.
  • Damage starts as soon as you smoke your first cigarette, no matter how young you are. Don’t think that smoking just a few cigarettes is OK.
  • The earlier a person starts smoking, the more likely they are to become addicted and to die from smoking-related illnesses like cancer.