The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 20, 2014

Student Voice: Teaching is fine, but action needed

The Daily Item

— Smoking has been a major health issue and leads to thousands of deaths every year, yet our health advisors and government officials don’t push for more restraints. In my opinion, we’re simply teaching about the dangers of smoking and not putting our words into action.

Recently I’ve read about how health advisors are calling out for smokers to be screened for lung cancer earlier than usual. To do this the patient will receive a “CT” scan. Screening early will decrease cases of lung cancer in 20,000 people a year, but you still need to look at all of the people being diagnosed with it, on average about 228,000.

Students, starting at a very young age, are being taught the dangers of smoking and how it negatively affects their health/life. I completely agree with this, but then why don’t we push to have cigarettes banned?

It almost seems as if we’re waiting for the day when everyone realizes we shouldn’t be smoking, instead of acting now. I’m surprised it took medical professionals this long to spread this awareness. It has always stunned me how we legalize cigarettes, considering the consequences, and how more people died of this every year than they would by using marijuana. If we’re legalizing cigarettes than why don’t we legalize other illegal drugs as well. The majority having the same outcome, being death.

By all means, smoking isn’t the only thing that causes lung cancer, but it’s the No. 1 cause. In my opinion, banning cigarettes or even putting tighter restraints on their use will significantly decrease the number of lung cancer patients every year. Right now, we are merely letting it slide and not paying attention to the issue. If we do not act on this soon, the smoking leading to cancer problem will increase.

Savanna Foor,

Selinsgrove High School