Wide-tire bicycles with white sidewalls are stylish once again.
Based on the numerous teenagers seen smoking when roaming the streets during Coast Guard Festival, The Marlboro Man — unveiled in 1954 to help create the image that smoking filtered cigarettes was masculine — must be cool again as well.
Let’s hope not!
Current studies indicate that about 20 percent of all teens smoke cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of smokers begin before the age of 18. A similar study published by the American Lung Association shows 90 percent of smokers begin before the age of 21.
The CDC also found some interesting facts and estimates:
— About 3,900 teens under 18 start smoking each day.
— Of the 3,900 teens that start smoking each day, 1,500 will become regular smokers.
— Those who smoke often have secondary behavioral issues such as violence, drug/alcohol use, and high-risk sexual behavior.
The truth of the matter is, there is nothing cool about smoking — unless you consider a chronic cough, reduced stamina, bad breath, yellow teeth, and the increased risk of cancer and heart disease cool. Plus, it’ll cost you almost $1,800 a year to smoke a pack a day.
It’s important to educate our children early on about the dangers of smoking. It all starts at home. Only 2 percent of smokers have parents that don’t smoke. Be a good example, and teach good refusal skills.
One thing is for certain: Kids are 100 percent of our future.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.