The Effects of Youth and Tobacco

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The Effects of Youth and Tobacco
Allen Grimes
ENGL 101-B38 LUO
February 20, 2012
Shaun Curran

Abstract
The effects of smoking in America have become one of the leading causes of many life threaten symptoms. “Greater exposure of youth to tobacco advertising is associated with an increased likelihood that they will start smoking cigarettes and use other tobacco products” (Alpert, Koh, & Connolly, 2008). Although the many efforts to prevent the use of tobacco among youth, it continues to be a major epidemic in many communities. Advertising material explaining the use of traditional tobacco verses commercial tobacco in American Indian and Alaska Native communities have been used to “teach discipline, learn respect from the Creator, gain spiritual development, and pray” (The National Native Network, 2009). This native tradition has given way to a great debate among many who believe youth are targeted purposely to particatpate in a deadly habit that preys on young people.

The Effects of Youth and Tobacco

(Figure 1.0, Tobacco is Sacred, 2011)

Exposure of youth in America to tobacco products by major tobacco companies has greatly declined since the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). “The MSA is a legal settlement implemented in 1998 between the states’ attorneys general and the tobacco industry and represents the most significant legal effort to prevent targeting of youth with tobacco promotions” (Alpert et al. 2008). Major efforts towards regulation implemented on tobacco companies are in place currently. Tobacco companies

were spending millions to attract youth and adults to their products. Pressure from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and tobacco free prevention groups placed an enormous pressure to change their marketing practices. “Tobacco companies had individually changed their overall magazine advertising practices, resulting in an overall decrease in magazine advertising expenditures for cigarettes beginning notably in 2001, three years following the MSA. Youth continue to be exposed to magazine ads, although to a much lesser extent than before the MSA” (Alpert et al. 2008, p.509). Although, the MSA applies to many states in America, it does not apply to native tribes and communities who produce homegrown traditional tobacco. The use of traditional tobacco in native communities is highly acceptable. Marketing material as shown in Figure 1.0 promotes the use of traditional tobacco verses commercial tobacco with youth. This does not discount the fact that any type of tobacco use can be harmful to the body. “Tobacco use continues to be a leading cause of preventable death in North America, particularly due to myocardial disease, vascular disease, chronic lung disease such as emphysema, cancer of the lung and other cancers” (Turtle Island Native Network, 2010). Tobacco use in the native community is a long tradition used for thousands of years. Advertisements in America have slowed tremendously, but the continued use of tobacco among youth in America has continued to rise at a steady pace especially in the American Native culture. The value of preserving the body continues to decline with youth in America. The bible says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:16-17, KJV). The idea of destroying the temple of God is something many take lightly. Tobacco use causes many behavior issues among teens. Parents find youth sneaking out of the house to smoke tobacco. They find alternative methods to buy tobacco products while being under age. Teens have been found skipping school to use tobacco. Parents have to find ways to be more involved in their child’s life. More has to be done in the home to promote a good value structure. Good values start at home. Most teens seek the enjoyment of smoking because of no attention at home. It...
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