Teen smoking in the U.S. is a huge problem. Most teen smokers start the habit at a young age 15 according to CBS news(May 3,2012) the percentage of teen smoking in the U.S. is 80 percent .One reason teenagers smoke is because they have a lot of stress built-up and don’t know any better way to release it. Another reason is that many teens feel peer-pressured into smoking just so they can seem cool.
John Williams Brookside junior, started smoking when he was 15. He doesn’t have a problem with smoking. He says “I think teen smokers start by having too much stress built up and a lot of problems at home that they can’t deal with.” He thinks 55 percent of teens start smoking weed between 14-15. Comes to find out in the state of Illinois the starting age of teen smoking is age 13 According to Livestrong.com(April 19,2011). Illinois is the 8th out of 12th state with the highest teen smoking rate by KTVQ news (August 5,2011). John says, ”When parents find out that their child is smoking weed, they have a huge fit and put their children on punishment, but it only makes the situation worst. It makes them want to do it more.” Some teens say it was very hard to stop smoking or some teenagers can’t even stop because it is addictive. John says, “I tried stopping but it didn’t work. I just didn’t feel the same after I stopped.”
Michael Butler is a Washington senior that smokes weed. He started smoking at the age of 14, and says “when I first did it, I didn’t know what to do. I was scared and my heart was beating fast. I was so nervous.” Michael feels 65 percent of teenagers smoke weed. Michael says, “Teenagers smoke weed to ease their minds when they need to release any type of negative energy.” He continues: “Teens start smoking at the age of 15, teens start smoking because they have problems to deal with like bullying, being mistreated at home or just being depressed.” When parents find out that their child is smoking, they try to discipline their kid but it really doesn’t work. It only makes them want to do it more. Michael says he tried to stop but eventually he started back, “I think its big waste of time if you try to stop … You end up smoking a couple weeks later.”
Jimmy Robinson is a Brookside senior who doesn’t smoke weed even though he tried it once. He says, “I was 16 when I did it. I smoked weed once but I will never do it again. It left a nasty aftertaste in my mouth, then my whole outfit smelled like weed, so when I came into the house, my mom and dad [knew] that I was smoking and they were very upset with me.” Michael knows from experience that parents will be upset or maybe even sad.Jimmy believes 50 percent of the state has teen smoking Jimmy is happy to know that he is not involved with smoking. Jimmy says “I think most teens start smoking because of the crowd they choose to hang out with so they choose to do the things their friends do. If you are a teen smoker try your hardest to stop. At the end of the day you will make yourself better as a person and people will not judge you by the things you do.”