Many of my teenage peers don’t think about it, but one day we will be old! It’s crazy to think about that when you still haven’t graduated from high school or even drive a car yet, but it’s true. September is actually Healthy Aging Month. An important part of aging is trying to maintain as youthful a look as possible, which is tough to do for smokers.
Using tobacco can turn your skin grey, add premature wrinkles, thin out your hair and yellow your teeth. Most of these things are things can happen naturally as a part of aging, but when you use tobacco you speed up that clock and things can happen faster than they normally would. One way that I plan to look and feel my best as I age is by not using tobacco.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin my FACT group spreads the truth about tobacco among our peers. Recently, we spread that message to members of the St. Mark AME Church Karate Club and Milwaukee’s Top Teens, both local youth groups. Part of the message we shared was through a scratch-off game that reveals the deadly chemicals that are in tobacco products. It is those cancer causing and sometimes deadly chemicals that help accelerate the aging process, not just appearance wise, but more significantly, what happens inside your body.
A face this good looking isn’t going to wrinkle early because of tobacco. Getting old happens, but I want to fend off some of the outward and, more importantly, inward signs of aging for as long as I can. I want to be a healthy, active adult without a tobacco related disease holding me back from experiencing all of life’s milestones to the fullest.
For more information on the FACT Movement or to join a local group, please visit FACTmovement.org.
Nicolet High School
Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network FACT