The Concussion Legacy Foundation recently released a public service announcement regarding how playing tackle football before the age of 14 is comparable to lighting up a cigarette.
The foundation wants parents to consider the long term damage that youth tackle football could have an impact on a young child's brain.
The PSA shows the coach handing out cigarettes to his young football players and it flashes to a different scene where a mom is helping her child light up his celebration cigarette.
The message the video is saying is "Kids who start tackle at age 5 vs 14 are 10 times more likely to get the brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or 'CTE'.
Do you agree with this message?
The campaign was led by the daughters of two football players who were diagnosed with CTE. Rebecca Carpenter, the daughter of deceased NFL player Lew Carpenter died in 2010 in New Braunfels, TX from CTE. Angela Harrison, the daughter of professional college football player Joe Campigotto, died in 2016 from CTE.
The study came from the University of Boston who compared more than 260 professional and amateru deceased football players and concluded that the risk of CTE doubled for every 2.6 years of playing tackle sports such as football.
The calculation states that high school football players who started tackle football at the age of 5 were 10 times the risk of developing CTE than players that began tackle football at the age of 14, even though there is no "scientific agreement" that 14 is the magic number.
So in conclusion, the foundation believes that the age of 14 should be the appropriate time to put your child playing tackle football. The foundation said "If age restrictions can be placed on cigarettes, then why can't regulations be placed on the youth that will cut CTE in half."
Symptoms of CTE could take years to develop even beyond playing tackle sports such as football according to Boston University's CTE Center. Symptoms of CTE could include memory loss, confusion, aggression, impaired judgement and eventually dementia at an premature age. There is no cure for CTE and it can only be diagnosed in an autopsy.
A 2017 study found CTE in 99% of studied brains of deceased NFL players and only 111 former football players didn't have the disease at all. Not only football players can have this disease. Study also shows that former boxers, baseball, soccer and members of the military were diagnosed with it as well.