Volume 95, Issue 55

Thursday, January 10, 2002
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The Gazette's ultimate guide to addictions

Smoking - what a drag

Mmmm... Coffeeeee

Don't gamble away your life savings

I love Magnum P.I.

Don't get too pumped

Marajuana is not addictive

The myth of the bottomless mug

New Year's resolutions

Smoking - what a drag

Tobacco - fun, but deadly.

Despite clear evidence that tobacco is linked to a shortened lifespan and numerous ailments, it is still a popular lifestyle choice among underage youth, said Lorraine Fry, general manager of the Non-Smoker's Rights Association.

"Many adult smokers quit, but teenagers like to rebel against society and adult norms," she said.

Fry said there are many ways to break free from nicotine addiction, including the popular nicotine patch and Nicorette gum. "Most people are best off consulting their family doctor [to see what method is best for them]," Fry said.

Teens and university students - between the ages of 15 and 24 - often feel invincible - they fail to think about the health consequences of their actions, she explained. "No one thinks about death."

Tobacco-related illnesses kill one out of two lifelong users, while 25 per cent of lifelong users die an average of 23 years prematurely, she said. "It's the only legal product which kills when used as intended."

Fry said continued preoccupation with smoking in film and other popculture forums perpetuates smoking as a positive image among youth.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2000, an estimated four million people died of illness related to tobacco use.

-Chris Lackner

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