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The faces may not be familiar, but their stories probably will be. Hear from real teens with stories about how tobacco has affected them.
Location: Greensboro, NC
My father is what some people would call a "regular" smoker. He smokes about 30 or more cigarettes a day. He started smoking around the age of 17 because of peer pressure.
He later stopped smoking for a few years only to start again when my parents were going through a divorce – “to escape the stress.” My mom constantly fights with my dad because she knows the secondhand smoke is bad for me and my sister. I used to even take my father's cigarettes and break and throw them out, which was worthless because all it did was anger him.
He got COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) from all the smoking he does. COPD is a progressive disease that clogs up the lungs and makes it harder for people to breathe. He then had to start using an oxygen tank.
He still smoked with the oxygen tank around, which was extremely hazardous! Even after constant begging and crying from me and my sister, and despite all the stuff he's been through due to smoking, he chooses not to quit. So, I have to deal with all the smoke as we drive in the car or when I am at his house and the terrible smell that lingers. It hurts me to watch him kill himself a little bit more each and every day with all the cigarettes he smokes.