The Harmful Effects of Tobacco

Did you know that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States? May 31st was World No Tobacco Day, so today we are bringing you facts about tobacco and how it affects the body.

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Facts

  • Each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers.
  • 9 out of 10 smokers start before the age of 18.
  • Smoking does not relieve stress, sadness, or depression. It may make you feel good at the moment, but then it can increase upsetting feelings.
  • All types of tobacco and smoking are dangerous, including marijuana. Snuff tobacco, chew, cigars, cigarillos, and flavored cigarettes all cause serious problems.
  • “Light” cigarettes, smokeless (spit) tobacco, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes are harmful as well. Learn more about their harmful effects here.
  • Smoking is expensive! Cigarettes cost about $5 a pack. If you smoke 5 cigarettes a day, that’s more than $450 a year. Think of all the great things you could do with that money!

How does tobacco affect your body?

Check out this great chart to learn more about the effects of tobacco on different parts of your body.

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Why is this important to your health?

Tobacco smoking has many negative effects on our health. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis, heart disease, pregnancy-related problems, and many other serious health problems.

If you already smoke, here are some good reasons to quit:

  • The benefits of quitting kick in fast. For example, just 12 hours after quitting, the level of carbon monoxide (a colorless and odorless gas, which is toxic) in your blood drops to normal. Two weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart and lungs begin to work better. A year after, your risk of heart disease goes down.
  • Smoking gives you wrinkles and stains your teeth. It stinks up your breath and hair, and you may not even notice since you get used to the smell.
  • Most teens would rather date someone who doesn’t smoke.
  • Many buildings won’t let you smoke inside anymore, so smoking can be pretty lonely — and cold.

 

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Tips for Quitting:

Here are some ideas that can help you make a plan to quit and stick with it. Remember, it’s never too late to stop smoking. It may be tough and you may even have physical feelings of withdrawal, such as headaches. Don’t give up!

  1. Ask for help from a trusted adult, friends, and family.
  2. Think of ways to say “no.” Check out these tips for turning down smoking
  3. Come up with a specific plan for quitting. Then steer clear of situations where you might be tempted.
  4. Try other ways to deal with stress, like exercising.
  5. Find out about support groups. It’s great to connect with other people who know how you feel.
  6. Consider going to a program or treatment center for help.

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For more tips on how to quit and other helpful information, check out the resources below.

  • The free help line 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) offers local programs and telephone coaching.
  • Get text messages to help you quit smoking from SmokefreeTXT. It is a free text message cessation service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking. Teens can sign up online or text QUIT to iQUIT (47848).
  • A nicotine patch, gum or other stop-smoking aid might help you quit. Ask your doctor.
  • SmokefreeTeen.gov has quizzes, comics, apps, and more for teens
  • Get tips like how to keep your mind off smoking and how to deal with slip-ups from How Can I Quit Smoking?
  • Want some tips written just for girls? Read Say Goodbye To An Ugly Habit – Quit Smoking! (PDF – 243KB).

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Check out our resources page for more tobacco-related resources. We’ll be updating this section frequently, so make sure you check it out regularly!

Share your experiences/thoughts/questions/comments in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Stay healthy and have a great day! 🙂

Sources:

 

Be Tobacco Free – Tobacco Facts and Figures

 

Dictionary.com – Carbon Monoxide

 

Girls Health – Feeling Stressed

 

Girls Health – If you already use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco

 

Girls Health – Straight Talk about Tobacco

 

Girls Health – Ways to say no to tobacco
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Menstrual Hygiene Day – May 28th

Happy Saturday everyone! Today is Menstruation Hygiene Day!

Menstruation (starting your period) is a huge part of every girl’s life. Menstrual Hygiene day raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges, including through media work.

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Learn more:

Website: www.menstrualhygieneday.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/menstrualhygieneday

Twitter: @MHday28May

Instagram: #menstruationmatters

E-mail: info@menstrualhygieneday.org

Sources:

Menstrual Hygiene Day

Get Up & Move!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month. Here’s how you can start incorporating more physical activity into your daily life.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is anything that requires movement of your body and increases your heart rate. According to the CDC, kids and teens should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Working out on a regular basis, will make you strong, increase your energy levels, and flexibility (Women’s Sports Foundation).

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Here is how you can get started!

  1. Make a fitness plan. Use the 3 steps and tips provided here to make a personal fitness plan that will work for you.
  2. Are you just getting started? Start small. Try getting off the bus or train earlier and walk a few extra blocks. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you drive, park your car further away and walk.
  3. Make physical activity fun. Physical activity doesn’t just mean walking and running. There are so many activities you can do! Try playing your favorite sport, dancing, or going to the park to toss around a Frisbee. What other ways can you think of to make physical activity more fun?  You can find more ideas here and here.
  4. Workout with your family or friends. Getting others involved will help you have fun and get your daily exercise in too. When you join active clubs or community activities, you may even make new friends.
  5. Fuel up! If you’re active, you need energy. Learn more here about foods and drinks you should have. Check out these great resources for tips and recipes:
    1. KidsHealth.org – Teen – Recipes
    2. NIDDK – NIH – Take charge of your health: a guide for teenagers
    3. USDA – 10 healthy tips for teen girls
  6. Stay safe. Check out these safety tips to learn basic ways you can stay safe while becoming more physically active.
  7. Take your time. Remember that it takes time to make changes in your lifestyle. Try changing one habit per week. Do you drink soda on a regular basis? Try switching it out for water. Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables? For the second week, add in those servings of fruits and vegetables.
  8. Get motivated and stay motivated! Check out these great ideas to overcome common obstacles here.

Why is physical activity important for your health? Being physically active has many benefits. It may help control your weight, increase flexibility and balance, and improve your mood. Regular physical activity can have a positive impact on your mental health by: reducing stress, improving sleep, boosting your energy levels, increasing your self-esteem, and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Being active is great for your muscles, heart, and lungs. It helps you build strong bones, prevent diabetes and high blood pressure, fight certain types of cancer, along with so many other benefits.

How do you stay active? What types of activities do you enjoy to stay physically active? Tell us in the comments!

Stay healthy! 🙂

Sources:

  1. Girlshealth.gov – Foods and drinks for physical activity
  2. Girlshealth.gov – Physical activity safety tips for girls
  3. NIDDK – NIH
  4. Women’s Sports Foundation – Girls Get Active

Thank You To All The Teachers Out There!

May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week. We are giving a shout out to all the wonderful teachers out there! Without teachers, we wouldn’t be able to read, write, or do math. We wouldn’t have the tools that we need to move forward and succeed in life. Thank you to all the teachers out there! You inspire us to do better every day.

Can you imagine a world without teachers? We sure can’t! Check out this video where students talk about the impact their teachers have made in their lives.

Who is your favorite teacher? How does he/she inspire you? Let us know in the comments!
Thank a teacher today! 🙂

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Earth Day: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repeat!!!

Even though Earth Day passed yesterday, it is important that we remember to take care of our planet everyday. Check out the image below for helpful tips for better environmental habits that will help earth in the long run. Remember to appreciate and take care of our world. Like our bodies, we only have one.

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How does this affect our health?:

  • Our environmental health is very important because it affects the health of every living thing (including humans)!
  • Our whole environment helps our bodies survive, thrive, and live the best way possible.
  • If we live in an unhealthy environment, it will be harder to live and do healthy things everyday.

 

Get Involved in your home & community today!

Happy Earth Day!

How do you plan to help out in your community ? Have a question or comment for us? Please tell us in the comments below!

Sources:

http://www.earthday.org/earth-day/

Hughes, R. E., & Thomson, S. L. (2016). The First Earth Day, 1970. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 28(3), 11-14.

http://www.treehugger.com/culture/10-tips-make-every-day-earth-day.html