By Eldrie Gouws and Nicky Kruger (Auth.)

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Cigarette smoking is also injurious during pregnancies and expecting mothers who smoke run a greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, premature births, and babies who have a greater than average number of illnesses during the first year of life (Nielsen 1987). Moreover carelessness during cigarette smoking often causes fires. Although nicotine is by far the most widely abused stimulant among both adult and adolescent populations, the most dangerous drug in wide use among adolescents today is cocaine (Schickedanz et al 1990).

One of the greatest dangers attending the use of hallucinogens is that while under their influence the user could, for example, jump off a building in the mistaken belief that he can fly. The use of hallucinogens causes a wide range of reactions depending on the user's expectations and circumstances (Jensen 1985). The effects may vary from pleasant sensory experiences and euphoria to hallucinations, paranoia and uncontrollable and violent behaviour. Narcotics These powerful depressants confer tranquillity and are extremely effective painkillers.

This is why adolescents are often subject to episodes of acute respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, skin infections, urinary tract or vaginal infections among girls, and infectious mononucleosis. Also known as mono, infectious mononucleosis is caused by a virus and is often referred to as the 'kissing disease', so-called because it is propagated exclusively by such direct physical contact as kissing or eating or drinking from the same utensils as others. Although it also occurs in other age groups, it is most prevalent among adolescents.

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