Keep Today’s Kids from Becoming Tomorrow’s Smokers
The best way to end teen smoking and tobacco addiction: Stop teens from ever starting
Young people don’t set out to become long-term smokers. When they start, most think they won’t be smoking a year later.1 Then they get hooked on nicotine – the nation’s most commonly used addictive substance.2 They bum cigarettes at a party or try vaping and don’t realize they’re moving down the road to addiction.
Two thirds of people who try a cigarette become daily smokers,3 and nine out of 10 adult smokers start by age 18.4
The task of preventing use is even more pressing as vaping and e-cigarette use is rapidly increasing among youth and young adults across the country. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado high school students are vaping at twice the national average. That’s especially worrisome because teens who vape are four times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes a year later. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially declared youth vaping in the U.S. an “epidemic.”
Young smokers typically regret ever starting. Each year about half try to give up cigarettes.5 Yet the U.S. Surgeon General says: “Of every three young smokers, only one will quit, and one of those remaining smokers will die from tobacco-related causes.”6
We can help tobacco users, including youth, quit – and this website offers helpful resources – but it’s hard.
That’s why it’s so important to prevent kids from taking those first puffs.
Adults Play an Important Role
Adults may feel like teens know more about these new forms of tobacco than they do. But research shows that informed adults can have a big influence on kids, who may not fully grasp the risks. Adults also can dispel myths like the common misconception that vape clouds are “just water vapor.”