Sara Bellum
September 10 2009
Image Courtesy of Richard Annable

Have you noticed that a lot of restaurants don't have indoor smoking sections anymore? More and more cities, counties, and entire states are banning indoor smoking. People everywhere are getting the message: smoking causes disease and death. In fact, it's the number one preventable cause of death in this country. NIDA scientists have shown how incredibly addictive smoking is, especially when people start in their teens.

So protect your health and avoid the hassle—don't start. It's a no-brainer.

If you need more reasons not to smoke besides smelly clothes and yellow teeth, here you go:

  1. Your wallet. How can you afford that new video game if you're burning cash on cigarettes?
  2. Your athletic ability. Smokers run slower and can't run as far, like being old before you're old.
  3. Your state of mind. It takes just 8 seconds for nicotine from cigarettes to reach your brain and change the way it works. Although scientists aren't totally sure why yet, one study found that teens who smoke a lot are 15 times more likely to have panic attacks than teens who don't smoke. Teen smokers also are more likely to have anxiety disorders and depression.
  4. Your future. Quitting smoking is hard. But the health consequences are even harder to deal with.

If you or any of your friends smoke, know help is out there.  For free quitting support, call 1–800–QUIT–NOW (1–800–784–8669).

Want to learn more? Take our quiz on why cigarette smoking is dangerous.

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