WhyQuit.com banner. Want to quit smoking cigarettes or stop using e-cigarettes (e-cigs), bidis, kreteks, hookah, a pipe, cigars, dip, chew, snuff, snus, smokeless, chewing tobacco, or the nicotine gum, patch, lozenge, inhaler or spray?  Then you're in the right place!
WhyQuit.com   1=All   Joel's Library   Freedom   Turkeyville   How to Quit

College Smokers Teach Teens Tobacco Truths


Click upon Rachel's picture to learn more. Rachel's message - I'm HookedImagine being 18, a college freshman and addicted to smoking nicotine. How much heart and courage would it take to allow your picture and message to be broadcast across the Internet in an effort to educate youth to the truth about smoking?

"I'm hooked," proclaims Rachel, an 18-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee. "My clothes stink and it sticks to you," says Katie, another 18-year-old who started at 17 in hopes that the stink of her friends smoking wouldn't bother her as much.

Ten College of Charleston smokers are standing tall as they reach out in an attempt to help the world's teens and tweens avoid their fate - life as nicotine's slave. Their stories are featured on the youth smoking prevention pages of WhyQuit.com. According to Google ratings, WhyQuit is the Internet's leading cold turkey quitting forum. According to the American Cancer Society, cold turkey is the quitting method that was used by 91% of all long-term successful quitters.

"I can't run and I can't breath," says Iris, a 20 year-old who started smoking in Paris at 17 to try and look cool like her smoking friends. "I smell like smoke and it's gross," says Kelly, an 18-year-old from Atlanta.

Reggie's message - I've tried quitting 4 times and can't"Don't start. I've tried quitting four times and I can't," says Reggie, a 19 year-old from Columbia, S.C. "It's not worth the buzz," says Ian, age 18 from Mount Pleasant, SC.

"They may be addicted to smoking nicotine but they're a credit to mankind," says John R. Polito, WhyQuit's editor. "We failed to protect them and we now watch as they try and protect the next generation."

The U.S. is one of the few developed nations on earth that does not require any addiction warning label on tobacco products. Canada's required label reads, "Warning, cigarettes are highly addictive - studies have shown that tobacco can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine."

These youth are doing what millions of dollars in tobacco industry campaign contributions appear to have convinced politicians and the agencies they control not to do, to tell youth the truth about tobacco.

"Last year the tobacco industry spent $14 billion in an attempt to brainwash students into believing that adult smokers smoke for flavor, pleasure, adventure or to make new friends," says Polito. "Their ads are nothing short of fraud when almost all daily smokers smoke because they must, because they are chemically dependent under DSM-IV standards."

DSM stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . It is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the main diagnostic reference of mental health professionals in the United States.

"Peer to peer is the way to go," says College of Charleston Health Educator Laura Lindroth. "They don't want to hear it from me but from each other. We need to connect with students before they arrive at college already hooked. We're proud of these ten students. They're reaching out and trying to make a difference."

Joel Spitzer, Education Director at WhyQuit is excited about the addition of these new youth pages to the site. Spitzer, who worked for the American Cancer Society in the early 1970's coordinating smoking prevention programs for the Chicago Unit, sees the messages as a great resource for young readers.

According to Spitzer, so many of the ad campaigns that are directed at youth have a slick look with students who look professionally staged or posed, using catch phrases that appear to have been written by adults getting the students to say what the adults think young people should hear. Through the decades the message in these types of ads was that smoking wasn't cool, smoking wasn't hip, or whatever the popular phrase was for the day.

"John Polito took a different tactic with these young adults," says Spitzer. "Instead of having his message and agenda planned out, he went to young people smoking at a college campus and simply asked them to write a comment on a white board of what they would say if they were standing in front of 5,000 young teens who were thinking about taking that first puff. What would you tell them, he asked?"

Spitzer notes that the end result was a poignant outpouring of sincerity and honesty that truly captured the essence of the problems of experimenting with smoking. "All of these young people realized that they were hooked on a drug that they likely didn't understand had the potential to grab them before they had smoked their first cigarette."

"Their comments and pictures capture the true insidious nature of nicotine addiction and hopefully will get other young readers to realize the real danger of experimenting with nicotine. Nicotine is a drug that will hook almost all who experiment with it. It will cost them a fortune, ruin their health and will very likely cost them their lives if they are not able to quit."

Can peer to peer dependency honesty actually make a difference? If ten caring College of Charleston students have any say in the matter it will.






Learn More About Youth Smoking Prevention







WhyQuit's basic "how to quit smoking" video

Watch 200+ additional free video stop smoking lessons






Read our free quitting e-books

Click to learn more about Joel's free e-book before downloading it              Click to learn more about John's free e-book before downloading it.

Read both and watch knowledge destroy quitting anxieties!






Visit WhyQuit and learn more about smart turkey quitting


Learn More About Smart Turkey Quitting

  • WhyQuit.com's coffin bannerWhyQuit.com - WhyQuit is the Internet's oldest forum devoted to the art, science and psychology of cold turkey quitting, the stop smoking method used by the vast majority of all successful long-term ex-smokers. Left to right, WhyQuit is organized under three headings: (1) Motivation, (2) Education and (3) Support.
  • "Never Take Another Puff" - Imagine a free 149 page stop smoking ebook that's registered more than 4 million downloads and was written by a man who has devoted 40 years, full-time to helping smokers quit. Never Take Another Puff (NTAP) was authored by Joel Spitzer, the Internet's leading authority on how to stop smoking cold turkey. It is an insightful collection of almost 100 articles on every cessation topic imaginable.
  • "Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home" - Written by John R. Polito, a former 30-year heavy smoker and WhyQuit's 1999 founder, Freedom from Nicotine (FFN) is a free nicotine dependency recovery book that documents the science underlying nicotine dependency and successful cessation. Visit Turkeyville, Facebook's most popular quit smoking support group!Whether hooked on cigarettes, e-cigarettes (e-cigs), bidis, kreteks, a pipe, hookah or cigars, on dip, chew, snuff or snus, or on the nicotine gum, lozenge, spray, inhaler or patch, FFN provides a comprehensive yet easy to follow road-map to freedom from nicotine.
  • Turkeyville - Visit Turkeyville, Facebook's most popular quit smoking support group. The group's primary focus is the first few days and helping new quitters get started. Yes you can!
  • Joel's Library - Joel's Library is home to Joel Spitzer's "Daily Quitting Lesson Guide." The Guide walks new quitters through the first two weeks of smoking cessation, recommending daily videos to watch and articles to read. Joel's Library is also home to more than 100 original short stop smoking articles, to his free ebook Never Take Another Puff, and to his collection of more than 200 video stop smoking lessons.
  • Nicotine Addiction 101 - WhyQuit's guide to understanding nicotine dependency.
  • Freedom's small link banner Freedom - Looking for a deadly serious and highly focused education oriented support group? Home to Joel Spitzer, Freedom is the Internet's only 100% nicotine-free peer messageboard support forum. Explore Freedom's hundreds of thousands of archived member posts on how to quit smoking.
  • Nicotine Cessation Topic Index - An alphabetical subject matter index to hundreds of nicotine cessation support group discussions, article and videos.
  • 40 Quitting Tips - Key cold turkey nicotine cessation tips on how to stop smoking, vaping, chewing or sucking nicotine into your body and bloodstream.

Knowledge is a Quitting Method!


WhyQuit's small banner



Article written November 22, 2005 and page last updated December 29, 2013 by John R. Polito