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The Facts About Teen Smoking

The number of smokers is decreasing among the general population, but 3,000 teenagers each day in the United States still light up. Here are a few important facts about the teen smoking epidemic in the United States:

1. 4,000 kids under the age of eighteen try smoking each year, and 1,000 of those kids start smoking regularly.

2. Teenagers under the age of 18 purchase 1.5 million packs of cigarettes each year.

3. People who start smoking as teenagers die, on average, 13 to 14 years earlier than those who do not smoke.

4. According to recent studies, teenagers who smoke are three times more likely to use alcohol.

5. Because smokers typically start the habit during their teenage years, advertisers gear their advertisements towards teenagers and young adults by making smoking look like a pleasure of adulthood. They also emphasize feelings of freedom and rebellion for teens.

6. Teens who are involved in sports and after school activities have lower rates of tobacco and alcohol use.

What Can Parents Do to Stop Teen Smoking?

  • Keep a close eye on your child and look for signs, such as the smell of cigarette smoke.
  • A lot of teenage smokers start due to peer pressure. Get to know your child’s friends so you can ensure they will be a positive influence.
  • Talk to your teen and keep an open dialogue so they feel comfortable discussing it with you.

 

Sources: American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and Foundation for a Smoke Free America