Sixteen-year-old Joyce Huang, from Dorchester, knows firsthand the effects of secondhand smoking. “Every time I’m out of the house, at the parks and bus stops, I encounter it,” she says. “I don’t think the smokers are aware of the matter because they smoke for their own need.” The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines secondhand smoke as smoke from a burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe. According to the CDC, secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including about 70 that can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke can also be responsible for heart disease and severe asthma attacks, says the CDC, as well as ear infections. “I think it’s gross,” says Vanessa Tse, 16, who goes to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. “I don’t think they notice and care how it affects others.” Teens know that people are under a lot of pressure and that smoking is a way to get relief, but some smokers don’t realize the consequences. Catherine Tsang, 16, lives in Chinatown, where smoking is rampant on the street. “Secondhand smoke affects the people around the smokers,” says Tsang. “I would persuade them with facts to make the smokers stop smoking.” Huang, meanwhile, says she tries to avoid the cigarette smoke of others as best she can, sometimes just crossing the street.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8roJaaRg_I
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Eating healthy at the farmer's market
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Why might teens prefer a McDonald’s McDouble over a head of broccoli? The Dollar Menu, maybe. “I blame the owners and even the government for strategically lowering fast food prices,” says Antonio Banrey, 17, who goes to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Low-income neighborhoods rely on fast food chains more than wealthier areas that have easier access to healthier alternatives, according to better-eating advocates. McDonald’s even tells consumers on its website: “Your stomach is empty – and so is your wallet. Good thing there’s the Dollar Menu.” Teens say that reforms are needed to make healthy eating attainable for all regardless of their location or financial status. “Fast food should cost more,” says Greta Gaffin, 15, who attends Boston Latin Academy. If this were the case, many might switch to a healthier lifestyle that can be costlier than a quick fix. On the flip side, Diaundra Santos, 15, who goes to Another Course to College, says fruits and vegetables should be more affordable. A burger might be around the same price as broccoli -- hardly a full meal. “Fast food eaters wouldn’t have an excuse to not eat or buy healthy foods,” Santos says. That’s the great quandary: whether to blame their eating decisions, or the costs of these foods, for the poor diet of many young people. Any future changes might be aimed at teens, the easily influenced, who surround us all, but, especially, who surround the nearest Burger King and the company’s latest all-in-one-on-a-bun dollar French Fry Burger.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWnNFZqWy2g
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Eva La Paz, 16, from Dorchester, says she prefers to wear heels over sneakers because they make her feel more like a girl. “Heels are more feminine and attractive,” says La Paz, who is five-feet and three inches. “They are stylish and, of course, give you a little height when needed.” Adam Torres, 16, from English High School, says he likes women with a sophisticated look. “Heels make a girl look more like a lady,” he says. Glorelis Sepulveda, 15, from Urban Science Academy, says she likes to mix it up: class and comfort. “Heels are more for special occasions and sneakers are more for an everyday case,” she says. “A girl should just be able to wear whatever makes her feel confident and comfortable.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC0jURuRU8s
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Heels vs. sneakers on Newbury Street
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