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A Drop in the Dependency

REBECCA ZENG
Staff Writer

Almost every student is warned not to take drugs or smoke cigarettes. Statistics, shown through PowerPoint slides and lectures, warn us against the dangers of drug use. However, recent studies by HealthDay News claim that less than 20 percent of Americans still smoke cigarettes. This is progress, considering that in 1990, 25.5 percent of Americans were smokers. In addition, according to HealthDay, increasing tobacco prices is the most effective way to reduce smoking.

At school, students learn that smoking is a villain in the world of innocent children. Teachers and program advisors tell students that smoking will damage lungs and lead to lung cancer. Cigarettes contain at least 69 chemicals that can cause cancer, as well as the other 181 harmful chemicals within tobacco smoke.

In addition, the alcohol consumption among young students has also declined. According to the Potsdam State University website, a survey showed that high school seniors who consumed alcohol at least five times within the previous two weeks have decreased from 41.2 percent in 1980 to 23.2 percent in 2010.

Approximately 5,000 youth under the age of 21 die each year from alcohol abuse, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This is not surprising, considering the fact that alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of global disease and injury.

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