Even though we all know about the
health risks connected to smoking, thousands of people decide to
start every year - and a large number of adults who carry on
smoking say that they started when they were under 16.
You may be pressured into starting by
some of your friends, you may want to copy older relatives who
smoke or you may just be curious about what it's like. Whatever
sort of pressure you're put under, it's a lot easier to say no than
taking up the habit and trying to give up after years of regular
smoking. Many adults wish they had never even started smoking
and would urge all young people to say no!
Did you know that tobacco is the only
legal product which kills people when used as intended? Over
the last 50 years 6 million Britons have died from smoking related
illnesses. More smoking-related facts:
- 50% of teenagers who currently
smoke will be killed by their habit.
- Every 5 minutes someone dies as
a result of smoking
- A smoker reduces their life
expectancy by 11 minutes every time they smoke a
- A 20 a day smoker is losing one
day of their life for every week of smoking
- Deaths caused by smoking are 5
times higher than deaths from car accidents, murder, suicide, HIV
and alcohol combined!
Think you know it all?
But you know all that right? Click on the
links above to find out things you might not know; what the tobacco
companies really think of you, what’s in a cigarette, how smoking
affects your fitness, how smoking even affects the environment and
the developing world and most importantly how to get help to stop
So you think you’re in control and it’s your own
choice to smoke? Think again! The tobacco companies
actively target young people to start smoking as they know that
their older clients are dying so they need more people to start
smoking to make even more profit. Last year, the big boss of
Imperial Tobacco (the UK’s biggest tobacco company) picked up a pay
packet of £3.9 million!!!! The more you smoke the more you
line his pockets with money…..
If you’re still not convinced – here are some
quotes from the tobacco companies themselves….
“They (13 year olds) represent
(James Johnson CEO, R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Company, 1994)
"They got lips? We want
them." (Reply of an RJ Reynolds
representative when asked the age of the kids they were
David Goerlitz, the former Winston Man, asked RJ
Reynolds executives, "Don't any of you smoke?"One
executive answered, "Are you kidding" We reserve that right for
the poor, the young, the black, and the
stupid." (As quoted in a New York
Times editorial by Bob Hebert, Nov. 1993)
“It is important to know as much as
possible about teenage patterns and attitudes. Today’s
teenager is tomorrow’s potential regular
customer” (Philip Morris, 1981:
Market Report on Young People)
So next time someone offers you a cigarette, take
control and say no to it and the tobacco companies!
Become a Tobacco Control Health Ambassador!
Do you feel strongly about these
issues, do you want your voice to be heard, do you want to
influence local and national policies? If the answer is yes,
join our Health Ambassador’s group!
Our Tobacco Control Health Ambassador’s
group will provide young people with an opportunity to air their
views and concerns on tobacco and to take action to de-normalise
and de-glamorise smoking.
The group will decide and design their
name and logo and lead and organise a campaign of their
choice, relating to a particular tobacco control issue they feel
strongly about. Ultimately, this group will be run for and by young
The group is pro smokefree, anti
tobacco and not anti-smoker.
If you would like to join the group or
would like further information just get in touch with Gillian by
email, text or phone: