That Smoke is No Joke

Although general awareness about the dangers of smoking continues to increase across the globe, a large number of teenagers continue to partake in an activity which has serious health risks. Our school community is not exempt from these issues. This is the first in a series of articles examining the culture of smoking at MacDuffie.


Alexis Chapin, Managing Editor

“There’s not one good benefit to smoking. First off, it affects your lungs, it affects your breathing,” says Head Registered Nurse Erica Piwcio, when asked if there are any positive aspects to smoking. Addiction to cigarettes is something that scientists have been researching for decades, and has also been a severe issue specifically for young adults in America and other countries. There is less research on e-cigarettes, because they are newer on the market, but scientists are working to find negatives about their use as well.

According to, a site that compiles information and resources for people trying to quit smoking, youth smoking can lead to stunted lung development. The site also said one third of young smokers will die prematurely, and many of them will suffer from several health complications.

In the early 20th century, all advertisements for cigarettes were filled with false facts in order to attract customers. It wasn’t until 1964 when the Surgeon General of the United States released a report on the effects of smoking on health that the negative effects of smoking were communicated to the public, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nowadays, there are many studies to back up the fact that smoking cigarettes is detrimental to one’s health. But what exactly makes cigarettes so unhealthy? According to Piwcio, the addictive substance nicotine is only part of the problem. “They put stuff like formaldehyde and rat poison and all these other chemicals, and that’s what your body is addicted to.”

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