Friday, March 9, 2012

Teen Suicide vs. Teens Smoking

I am livid!!!  Driving down the highway yesterday, on my way to work, I hear a story on the all-news channel in my area.  Apparently, some official medical institution sounded the alarm about teen smoking.  "We are currently in a teen smoking epidemic."  Wait.  Did I miss something? 

Since the time that I was a teen, and even pre-teen!, myself, there's been teens smoking.  Just plain fact.  That doesn't make it good.  That doesn't make it right.  Smoking is, in fact, detrimental to one's health.  Cigarettes are the only consumer product that, if used as intended, will kill you.  That speaks volumes of the dangers of smoking.  True enough.  And, teen smoking?  Well, that's surely an issue.  By no means do I want to minimize the issue of teens starting to smoke cigarettes.  It's not good and, if continued, it will eventually kill them.  Eventually.  And, the reverse side of that is if they successfully quit smoking at some point in their lives, the dangers of smoking the known carcinogen goes away.  Eventually, completely.

Teen suicides.  Well, suicide is permanent.  Suicide isn't a drawn-out process that takes years and, more likely, decades to become complete. (yes, there are some who will say that smoking cigarettes is, in fact, a form of suicide.  Just delayed.)  And, we're seeing teens die of suicide every single day of the year. (don't think for a second that just because we haven't heard of one lately that they aren't still occurring.  They are.)  So, where's the press release for that!!??  Where's the "crisis" announcement for the issue of teen suicide!!??  Why do they find it more important to go public with a story about an issue that has been around for as long as I can remember, even longer!, and present it as a right-now epidemic!!??

In my opinion, it speaks volumes to the importance our officials are putting on the true epidemic of teen, and LGBT teen, suicides.  And, that is an atrocity.  At least in my eyes.  Rather than devoted time, effort, and resources into an epidemic that is claiming lives right here in the here-and-now, they're rehashing information that's decades old and presenting it as some brand spanking new study and problem.  What sense does that make?  So, what do we say to the family of the next teen who commits suicide?  "Sorry for your loss, but at least he didn't smoke.  That would've made it worse.)  Is it me?  Or, is there a real problem here? 

Cigarette smoking is a real issue, don't get me wrong.  I know first-hand because I've been a smoker, myself, for almost 30 years.  And, it's always been my opinion that selling cigarettes, a product that is PROVEN will kill its users!!!, should be illegal.  That will never happen, though.  Political reasons. (for the fun of it, research how much money the tobacco industry gives BOTH major political parties.)  However, as stated previously, teens can quit smoking, thus reversing the deadly effects of the cigarettes.  Once a person has committed suicide, they're gone.  We can't reverse death. 

3 comments:

  1. The reason cigarettes are legal is similar to the reason why marijuana is illegal. It makes our government a profit.

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  2. Current Medical StudentMarch 11, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    While I agree that suicide is permanent and a big problem I just want to clarify that the damage from cigarette smoking is real and permanent. While smoking cessation reduces further damage and reduces many symptoms of smoking, it doesn't completely regenerate your lungs, esophagus, etc.

    Furthermore, if a person starts smoking at a very young age, it prevents your lungs from completely maturing. Imagine having an infants lung as an adult. Not good at all.

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  3. Teen suicide only involves one person which is the one committing it, right? While if you smoke everyone around you is poisoned and I mean everyone that will inhale the smoke. Thus it only means that smoking is lethal not only to the user but also the people that surrounds the user. We should give more importance to the issue of teen smoking because a lot will suffer. But I am not saying that teen suicide should be set aside.

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