Tobacco Prevention and Smoking Prevention Programs
E-cigarettes (vaping), tobacco with flavoring, and smokeless tobacco, paired with hookah lounges, peer pressure and marketing campaigns targeting potential youth smokers, all play a part in the increase of teen tobacco use and vaping. Despite the known dangers and diseases associated with using cigarettes and tobacco products, more adolescents are smoking or using tobacco in some form today than they did in 2011.
Did you know:
- Most people who engage in tobacco use started during adolescence — 9 out of 10 try cigarettes by age 18.
- Nicotine impacts brain development, effecting an adolescent or young adult’s memory, attention and learning abilities.
- Every day, out of 2,500 adolescents who try cigarette smoking for the first time, 400 will become regular smokers and 200 will die from diseases associated with the habit.
- Nicotine causes changes in the brain that make a young person more vulnerable to chronic use of illicit drugs.
- If someone starts cigarette smoking as an adolescent, they are more likely to develop a severe addiction.
- If tobacco use among young people does not change, 5.6 million people who are now under 18 will die prematurely from a smoking related disease.
How Smoking and Tobacco has impacted public health
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the century-long epidemic of cigarette smoking has caused an enormous, avoidable public health catastrophe in the United States.
Since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health was published in 1964, more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking.
Despite significant progress since the first Surgeon General’s report, issued 50 years ago, smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
Don’t become a smoker or a vaper of any kind of substance.
Smoking cessation is possible. Every young person is at risk for trying tobacco, but there are things people can do to reduce the chance of youth tobacco use and vaping. This includes:
- Setting an example. It will be difficult to convince a teen that cigarettes are dangerous if you or another adult in the home uses tobacco. This will also prevent exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Talk early and often. Make sure to speak to teens about the dangers of cigarettes, tobacco products, and vaping. When young people know their parents or caregivers have no tolerance for cigarettes, tobacco products, or vaping, they are less likely to start smoking themselves.
- Establish boundaries and keep them. Monitoring teens’ whereabouts, activities, and getting to know their friends, decreases the risk of smoking and vaping.
- Recruit other adults. If there are other adults in a teen’s life that are important, ask them to help reinforce the disapproval of tobacco and speak about its long-term health effects.