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How Can Anyone Possibly Think Smoking Is Cool?

More 6-year-olds recognize Joe Camel than Mickey Mouse. Anything wrong here? It demonstrates that tobacco companies are targeting young people. What next? A theme park? They can call it Smoker’s Land.

People are starting to smoke at younger and younger ages. I wonder why. Do you think tobacco companies are spending millions of dollars advertising for no reason? Tobacco companies tell us Joe is cool, Virginia is slim and the Marlboro Man is a manly man.

Don’t you just love those yellow teeth, that deep, crudish voice and a stench beyond compare? Everyone’s dream boy indeed.

Myth: Smoking is sexy. It diminishes your appetite so you can stay slim and beautiful.

Fact: Smelling like an ash tray is not pretty. Ever dated a cigarette butt?

Myth: “I can quit when I want to.”

Fact: Smoking is more addictive than cocaine. Eighty percent of all smokers start before the age of 21. They told you they could quit. When do they plan to?

Let’s get serious here. Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States. Through tobacco education, people can learn the sick side of smoking. Tobacco education allows us to see past the smoke screen of tobacco company advertising and see how unhealthy smoking really is. We can learn about the effects of tobacco use and how the industry deceives us.

Myth: Smoking is cool.

Fact: Not.

xxxx If you are a teen with an opinion on any topic, send your column to Our Generation, Speak for Yourself, 999 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Monalisa Operana, Lewis and Clark