Students disagree on smoking

 

Jack D (10) eats lunch with friends. He views smoking as a personal choice. Jack D. said, “People can do whatever they want to their bodies.”

Jack D (10) eats lunch with friends. He views smoking as a personal choice. Jack D. said, “People can do whatever they want to their bodies.”

While opinions on smoking have changed over the years, students still express mixed feelings on the subject.

Surveys such as the Dayton Area Drug Survey (DADS) point to a slight decline in tobacco use among teens, while marijuana use remains about the same. According to DADS, tobacco is the third most common mind-altering substance high-schoolers use, with marijuana second and alcohol first.

“As of 2012, tobacco use was down, and marijuana use had risen. I would guess that those who were smoking tobacco, continue to smoke. Those who smoke marijuana, probably still smoke and smoke more often. I would also guess that the numbers of those who  try marijuana continue to grow. Only speculation,” Peggy Holton, intervention counselor, said.

The popular connotation of smoking may come from various sources: advertisements, movies, songs, and the media in general. However, not nearly as many people smoke as in previous decades. Is smoking still cool, or has it fallen out of fashion?

“Smoking isn’t good for you. People are distracted by smoking, and it’s just not good for your health. I don’t think it’s cool at all,” Erin K. (11) said.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some students don’t see a problem with it.

“Yes, I think it’s cool. I don’t think it’s a problem. People can do whatever they want to their bodies,” Jack D. (10) said.

The majority of students seem to avoid smoking for personal reasons, even if it is cool.

“I haven’t seen anybody at Oakwood smoke. Yeah, smoking’s cool, but I don’t do it,” Ben W. (11) said.

Marijuana use brings another factor into the picture. With harder drugs available, students may have moved on to more dangerous substances.

“Smoking cigarettes isn’t cool. It hurts your lungs. Smoking pot’s a little different because it has been known to help out people with Cancer,” Matt C.(10) said.

In the DADS, 24.5% of seniors considered marijuana use “not at all” harmful to one’s health. Only about 9% considered tobacco use “not at all” harmful.

Students recognize smoking still happens.

“I have seen people smoking, but not in school,” Erin K. said.

Regardless of if people believe smoking is cool, the issue of tobacco and marijuana use is not going away any time soon.

Carl P. (10) said, “Some kids will pressure others to smoke, because they think it’s cool. It has a bit of an impact on Oakwood. Probably some people think it’s cool, but not me.”

By Emily Gallion

gallion.emily@oakwoodschools.org

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