Bolingbrook – Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is hosting a free smoking cessation program geared toward teen smokers looking to kick the habit. The class meets from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays May 12 to June 30 at the hospital, 500 Remington Boulevard, Bolingbrook. To register, call (630) 856-7525. The class is sponsored by the Will County Health Department.
According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence produces significant health problems among young people, including cough and phlegm production, an increase in the number and severity of respiratory illnesses, decreased physical fitness, an unfavorable lipid profile and potential retardation in the rate of lung growth and the level of maximum lung function.
Each day, nearly 6,000 children under 18 years of age start smoking; of these, nearly 2,000 will become regular smokers. That is almost 800,000 annually. It is estimated that at least 4.5 million U.S. adolescents are cigarette smokers. Approximately 90 percent of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21.
If current tobacco use patterns persist, an estimated 6.4 million children will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease. According to a 2001 national survey of high school students, the overall prevalence of current cigarette use was 28 percent.
Nearly 20 percent of 12th graders, 12 percent of 10th graders and 5.5 percent of 8th graders smoke cigarettes daily. Adolescents who smoke regularly can have just as hard a time quitting as long-time smokers. Of adolescents who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, most of them report that they would like to quit, but are not able to do so.
Tobacco use in adolescence is associated with a range of health-compromising behaviors, including being involved in fights, carrying weapons, engaging in high-risk sexual behavior and using alcohol and other drugs.