Photo of Rick, who has smoked for 12 years, holding a sign which estimates that he has paid $17,520 for cigarettes.

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The cost to get hooked is small and many teens are addicted after smoking less than a dollar's worth of nicotine. But as Rick's calculations point out, the dollars quickly add up. Imagine cigarette taxes being rasied where you live to levels like those in New York City, where cigarettes are over $7.00 per pack. Each new nicotine addict means thousands in profits to tobacco companies. In stores and movies they bombard your mind with invitations to smoke. When you turn 18 they may even hand you a free pack of 20 cigarettes, knowing that it's all it may take to keep you coming back for life.

Copyright 2005
The above photo is owned and was taken by John R. Polito on November 17, 2005. Rick has consented to his photo's use in association with any not-for-profit non-commercial youth smoking prevention or cessation education effort, which John R. Polito agrees to as well, so long as the photo's use is accompanied by accrediation to Link to higher resolution version.

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WhyQuit on Youth - Youth smoking prevention