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Teens Shouldn't Smoke by Mario Rodriguez
Queen Creek Middle School

Teenagers shouldn't smoke cigarettes because they could die or could get really ill.  For example, they can get cancer in their lungs, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, cervix, uterus, and bladder.  Smoking ccan make your body in a bad shape.  Second hand smoke is responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually.  So why smoke if you know it can kill you?  Cigarettes are highly addicting - one-third of young people who are just "experimenting" end up being addicted by teh time they are 20.  Most smokers are treated like second-class citizens by the rest of society.  nearly 50 million Americans smoke - including one in five teenagers - resulting in nearly 450,000 deaths each year.  Cigarette smoking is perhaps the most devastating preventable cause of disease and premature death.

In conclusion, I recommend for teenagers and adults not to smoke.

Don't Even Start The Habit By Analuisa Barbeitia
Queen Creek Middle School

"Smokes" will kill you.  My grandpa smoked since he was 16.  About two months ago he was diagnosed with cancer.  The tar-like substance in the cigarette was eating away at his bones.  They said he would only live two more weeks.  He quit immediately.  Cigarettes have toxic chemicals that are also used in pesticides and bug sprays.  Would teens like that in their bodies?  I don't think so, then why smoke?

Smoking will hurt the entire family, not just the smoker.  Second-hand smoke is as bad as smoking.  If someone in a household smokes, the entire family is in danger.

Teens are very concerned about their looks.  Do teens want to be ugly and wrinkled or stinky?  Now way, nobody will ever find a boyfriend looking like that.  is it in style to have yellow teeth?  No.  So then why smoke and get yellow teeth.  <Toothpaste>  won't even take the yellow color away.  Did you know that women that smoke get wrinkled at an earlier age?  Who wants to be an old wrinkled up prune?  Not only do you get older, you die earlier.  So teens, don't smoke!  Don't smoke, it is not cool.

Smoking Is Stupid By Buddy Escapule
Queen Creek Middle School

Hi, my name is Buddy Escapule; I love to play sports and work.  that is the main reason i don't want to smoke.  Also my mother smokes, and the smell fo the cigarettes is very gross.  A lot of people in my family smoke, so on holidays I spend as much as I can outside.  I don't want to grow up knowing I can get lunch cancer.  I like to get out and play football, baseball, and many other sports.

A lot of kids my age smoke.  They don't care about themselves.  They just care about trying to look cool in front of everyone.  They know what can happen, they just don't care.  I think stores shouldn't sell cigarettes to anyone.  Cigarettes just kill people.  People think they are cool if they smoke, or it relieves them.  I think it makes people look stupid for doing it, and I don't think it relieves anything but space on the stores' shelves.

To conclude, I want to go to college, become a bronc rider, and have a future, but if I smoke all I will have are bad lungs.  Kids that smoke have no future in sports or in a hard working job.

The Vulnerable Youth By Andy Dinh
Queen Creek Middle School

Youth in their adolescent years sometimes feel invincible.  Just like Superman's Kryptonite, youth of today are faced with many dangers.  One of the most virulent of these is cigarettes.  The cigarette, the symbol of Joe Cool, the emphysema-causing cancer stick, the stamina-depriving weakness of today's teens, not to mention the nicotine fits and addiction laughing in your face.  The ominous shadow of smoke will always destroy habitual users burn holes in their throats, not to mention their pockets.

If the average teenager realized that smoking a pack a day would cost him about $1,360 a year, he would think twice about starting this addicting habit.  Eventually he will comprehend, that due to lack of funds, he can kiss his brand-new Rockford Fosgate car audio system goodbye.

As a result of smoking, smokers limit their future and style of living.  Nowadays, most high tech, lucrative jobs have "no tolerance" rules about smoking.  Life insurance rates also escalates to sky high limits  Chances are that cardiovascular activities are nearly impossible.  Remember, in the United States, alone, 437,000 people die each year from tobacco-related illnesses.  Today I stand as the Andy Cool of the modern-day generation by refusing to inhale that venomous smoke expelled by cigarettes.

Don't Even Go There!  By Sergio Contreras 
Queen Creek Middle School

There are three main reasons why I will not smoke cigarettes.  First of all, I don't smoke because my family cares for me.  For example, my brother thinks I'm cool the way I am.  In other words, I teach my friends how to break dance and they don't smoke because I don't and if I did they would want to do it to just be like me.  For instance, my brother says he's going to be just like me and do all the things I do like me.  Furthermore, I will not be as good in sports if I don't stay in top physical condition.  My mom says I'm going to be exactly like one of the pro football players.  If I started to smoke, that would affect my ability to run and play sports.  If I smoke, my friends wouldn't think I am as good as I am in running.  Finally, and most importantly, I wouldn't be in school and never reach my goals.  Next, if I smoked and went to school, I would be thinking of smoking and not work.  Finally, I have a future ahead of me.  Last of all, I wouldn't graduate and get a good career.  Overall, as long as I keep my faith in myself and make good choices in my life, I will succeed.

The End Of The Line, a tragic short story by Preeth Kumar
Willis Jr. High School

Again Jennifer lay on her bed pretending to be asleep.  Her parents were arguing again.  Foot steps.  Jennifer looked out her window where her father sat smoking.  It always seemed to calm him down.  Now she had to sleep and wake up to a terrible morning at school.  She already knew it.  She, as she was everyday, would be laughed at, called names, be the most unpopular freshman at Smiths High School.  She tried to stay awake, but then found herself fading ever so gently into a deep slumber.

"Wake up, STUPID!"  Joe screamed into Jennifer's ear giving her a startle.  Joe was her little brother - a pathetic 7th grader at Willis Jr. High.  He was quite the big bully.  She never cared for him, but never gave him a piece of her mind, either.  Once Joe was gone, Jenny decided to get up.  Stepping out of her bed gingerly, Jenny slipped and fell with a thump to the hard wooden floor.  When she heard the laughter of Joe, she regretted getting up in the first place.

Jenny nearly dragged herself to school later.  She had only one friend - Fiona Applee.  Reluctantly, Jenny walked into class.  There was only one class that she and Fiona had apart, the class that, because Fiona wasn't there, Jenny hated the most.

It was Friday and everyone was excited about a party that night.  Jenny was the only one having a miserable day.  Her frizzy orange hair climbed wildly down to her shoulder.  Fiona walked up to her during math.

"Hey!  It's Friday.  Not a time to be down.  Do you know what will cheer you up?  I do!  We'll go tot he big party tonight!"  Fiona buzzed on.  Jenny couldn't help but feel envious of Fiona.  She never had problems.  Never had worries.  She was so perfect.  Admiring Fiona's long blonde hair that went straight down to her back and her green-blue eyes, Jenny wished that she were different, cooler, more popular and accepted.

The phone rang.  It was Fiona calling about the party.

"Hey girl!  Get ready, I'll pick you up in an hour - got it?"  Fiona was ready with plans.  As usual, she was so prepared.

"Okay, an hour."  Hanging up the phone, Jenny ran to her room to chose clothes.  After fifteen minutes of frantic looking, Jenny gave in and called Fiona.  When she got no answer, Jenny chose a dress from what she had.

"I wish I stayed home!"  Standing in a pink dress, she sighed.  A big rip in the sleeve made the dress look like she pulled it out of an old box in someone's attic.  Hopelessly, Jenny attempted to sew it, but only made the rip grow.

"Just come with me.  We can go mingle!"  It was so easy for Fiona to mingle, but Jenny always had a hard time.  Fiona and Jenny went outside where they wandered around aimlessly.  they soon ran into a group of kids in an alley.  having nothing better to do, they walked up to the group.  She saw some people she knew.  Looking at them, she wished that she could be cool too.  Tommy, a boy that Jennifer ah liked, offered her something.

It was a cigarette.  Thinking it would make her cool, Jenny puffed away at the cigarette.  Fiona knew better.

"No way, man!  I'm not with all that cigarette stuff.  In fact, Jen, you better hold off yourself."  Fiona tried, pleaded for jenny to stop, but Jennifer had her heart set of being "cool" and "fitting in".  After about a pack of cigarettes, the girls went home.  that night, Jenny sneaked out.  She went to her mother's purse and took $50 and her mother's driver's license.  She went down to the store where she bought more cigarettes.  That whole night she smoked to her heart's content.

The next morning she was asleep until noon.  Unable to think straight, she headed down to her closet, filled her purse with more cigarettes, and headed over to Tommy's house.  When he answered the door, she showed him her purse, they both went out.  they decided to stop at a bar.  After about three hours, she headed home.

"Dang!  You stink like crazy!"  Great!  The last thing she needed was her brother to give her a bunch of put-downs of how bad she smelled.

"Beat it!"  Realizing his sister was serious, he left.  Looking into the mirror, Jenny saw a totally different person.  Her eyes were blood shot and her hair looked like rags.  Since her parents were out, she decided to smoke some more.

"What on Earth are you doing?"  Fiona was shocked at the sight of her friend.  "You need to get counseling, no more cigarettes."

"You can't take this away from me!  They are mine.  My passport to being cool, my passport to freedom..."

"Your passport to lung cancer, kiddo!  This stuff is no good.  Look, it's either the cigarette, or my friendship."

"I need these.  They help me cope with everything!"  Jennifer sobbed.

"I can help.  There are people out there who care.  We want to help, just let us."  Fiona was so understanding about Jennifer's problems.  Usually Jennifer would come to her senses, but something came over her.

"Stop it!  You cannot control me!  I am sick of it.  You are just jealous!"  Jennifer sobbed on.

With a look of disgust Fiona left, but just before leaving the room, she turned to Jennifer and said, "Look at you.  Take a look at what you have become!  You are acting like someone I have never known - someone I don't want to know.  You used to be cool.  I still am cool.  I proved that when I said no to what I knew was wrong."

"I don't need you!"  Screaming this as Fiona left, Jenny felt a rush of loneliness.  Grabbing her things, she went outside for a smoke.

Four Years Later

For close to two more years, Jennifer Cookin continued to smoke.  She soon moved on to chewing tobacco, along with her two pack a day habit.  She began stealing to get the money.  She even started ditching school.  by the time a year passed, she flat out dropped out of school.  Always needing more, she never stopped to think about what she was doing.  Fiona, now going to Harvard, always tried to get her to stop, yet failed every time.

There was a knock on the door.  Fiona waited outside, nervous.  She was sure Jennifer had stopped, and was hoping she could go back to High School, maybe even college.  When the door opened, she almost died of shock.  the jenny she knew was gone.  This was a bum.  her long red hair now was uneven.  her blood shot eyes were the only thing that gave any color at all to her pale face.  She looked gross.  For a while now, jenny had this cough.  When she had a cough attack when Fiona was there, Fiona took action.

"Come on.  We have to get you to a hospital!"  Driving quickly, Fiona took her to a hospital.  jenny was feeling woozy, and fainted.  the familiar beep of the hospital woke Jenny up.  There in the room, her whole family was crying.  Fiona paced back and forth.  The room, filled with flowers from Fiona, made it look beautiful.  the doctor came to Jennifer's side.

"The tests say you have severe lung cancer and have a week, if not less, to live."  

Slowly, the days past as Jennifer found herself dwindling away.  She said her last goodbye to Fiona, her best friend (even when she was acting like a jerk).  

With that, she closed her eyes and never opened them again.

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