Roughly ninety percent of smokers start to smoking by the age of nineteen. Nicotine is considered the number one entrance into other substance abuse (Barbara, 17); however I believe that's nonsense. I believe that teens that stop doing drugs, end up smoking cigarettes. .
Why is tobacco use addicting? The nicotine in tobacco acts as a stimulant, depressant, or tranquilizer depending on the dosage. An individual builds up tolerance to tobacco use, requiring larger doses to maintain a certain physiological effect. When the body becomes accustomed to the presence of nicotine, it then requires the chemical to function normally. This level of dependence is referred to as an addiction. .
Teens who are addicted to tobacco have several common experiences. A number of them tried their first cigarette in the sixth or seventh grade. Smokers often do not perform well at school. They do not feel they are a part of school and are isolated from those students who are active in sports. Most of the smokers feel they have little hope of going to college or getting a good job after high school. They also report addictions to other substances, such as alcohol. They experience pressure from home and school, and use tobacco as a form of relief. In addition, teen smokers enjoy trying to hide their smoking or outwit school administration. This has made school more fun for some tobacco users. .
Tobacco use has short-term and long-term physiologic, cosmetic, social, and economic consequences. Both cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use have direct health consequences. Even though people are aware of the health hazards, many find it difficult to stop using tobacco. According to a 1993 Nebraska study, rural youth are not exempt from drug use. In fact, these youth were at a greater risk of alcohol and tobacco use than their national peers. .
The initiation of smoking is influenced by having a friend, particularly a best friend, who smokes.