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High Life: A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : What Would Make You Quit Smoking?

November 10, 1989

This year, about 390,000 people will die from smoking and smoking-related diseases, according to the American Cancer Society. It is estimated there will be 155,000 new cases of lung cancer this year, and smoking is responsible for 87% of lung cancer cases.

But there are people who continue to smoke. Surprisingly, teen-agers still pick up the habit, despite the overwhelming evidence of its dangers.

Hot Topic correspondents were asked to interview teen-agers who smoke--or recently quit--and ask them: "What would it take to get you to give up cigarette smoking?" Some who responded asked to remain anonymous.

"I would need something to occupy all of my free time and to keep me relaxed simultaneously." --Brett Smith, 17, senior, Brea-Olinda

"It would have to be the elimination of stress in society. I admit it is a crutch, but so is almost everything else." --Michael Iverson, 17, senior, Brea-Olinda

"I would need a new drug to occupy my time. Also, I have nothing making me quit because I can smoke at home." --Brant Austin, 16, sophomore, Brea-Olinda

"That's a good question. If I had the willpower or if I had a strong enough reason--like a pregnancy." --Chrysta Shomaker, 17, senior, Connelly

"When I did, it took a close relative dying for me to stop." --Name withheld, 17, senior, Connelly

"When I get pregnant or if I had to set an example for someone, like my kids." --Name withheld, 17, senior, Connelly

"I would have to really want to, but a million dollars would help." --Kim Roberts, 16,junior, Cypress

"I would have to quit for myself." --Monique Rowe, 17, senior, Cypress

"Money." --Brent Huffman, 16, junior, Cypress

"My girlfriend." --Fernando Jorge, 16, senior, Cypress

"It would have to be up to me--no one could make me quit." --Ross Fielding, 15, sophomore, Cypress

"A million dollars." --Jason Thompson, 16, junior, Dana Hills

"Freedom." --Kad Luminarias, 16, junior, Dana Hills

"A new car." --Andy Dechartivong, 16, junior, Dana Hills

"Less stress." --Mike Casebier, 17, senior, Dana Hills

"If I decided to get back into athletics, I'd quit. I guess it would take the actual physical pain to get me to stop." --Heather Gulino, 16, junior, Dana Hills

"If a doctor told me I had lung cancer or emphysema." --Dominic Peralta, 15, sophomore, Edison

"Encouragement from friends." --Jon Smith, 16, junior, Estancia

"I ended up quitting because I used to go dancing. I had to experience chest pain before I stopped." --Rachel Abowitt-Erice, 17, senior, Huntington Beach

"If I wasn't going to die anyway, I would stop smoking." --Shelley Lush, 17, senior, Laguna Beach

"If I really tried, probably my own determination, or if they stopped selling cigarettes." --S.C., 17, senior, Ocean View

"My dad smokes also, and the only way I'd quit is if my dad really means to stop."

Albert Gomez, 16, --junior, Santa Ana Valley

"I would have to date a guy who tells me that he doesn't like me smoking." --Name withheld, 14, freshman, University

"Someone would have to invent something to calm my nerves." --Lisa Pelletier, 15,sophomore, Woodbridge

Next Week's Hot Topic:

What is this year's "cool" word or saying at your school? What does it mean?

Hot Topic responses gathered by Jooyoung Lee (Brea-Olinda), Jennifer Chen (Connelly), Blythe Latimer (Cypress), Dana Wilshin (Dana Hills), Tanya Wertner (Edison), Sydney Truong (Estancia), Colleen Cruz (Fullerton), Jane Wey (Huntington Beach), Sean McDonald (Laguna Beach), Felice Wu (Ocean View), Asra Hashmy (Rosary), Hang Nguyen (Santa Ana Valley), Kiley Coble (University) and Tomarra Wilds (Woodbridge).

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