- Each day, more than 3,000 kids become regular smokers. That’s more than 1 million kids a year. Roughly one-third of them will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.(1)
- Almost 90 percent of adult smokers began at or before age 18.(1)
- Among smokers aged 12-17 years old, 70% say they already regret their decision to smoke.(1)
- Most teen smokers believe they can quit but after 6 years 75% still smoke.(2)
- Three of four teenagers who smoke have made at least one, serious, yet unsuccessful, effort to quit smoking.(3) In states with comprehensive tobacco programs the success is high.
- Since 1993, smoking among 8th graders in California has varied from 12% to 14% while increasing from 17% to 22% in the rest of the country.(7)
- Since 1992, smoking among 10th graders in California has remained relatively constant at 18% to 19% while increasing from 22% to 32% in the rest of the country.(8)
- Less than a year after the initiation of Florida’s Tobacco Pilot program, current smoking was reduced by 19% (3.5 percentage points) among middle school students and 8% (2.2 percentage points) among high school students.
- The proportion of Florida middle school students using any form of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, or spit tobacco) declined by 21% from 1998 to 1999. The proportion of high school students using any form of tobacco declined by 8%.
- In 1997, the state of Oregon implemented a Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TEPP) modeled on the California and Massachusetts programs with revenue from a tobacco tax increase. This program has already achieved declines in overall tobacco consumption.(9)
- The Surgeon General has reported that teenagers who are daily smokers are 100 times more likely to go on to use marijuana and 30 times more likely to go on to use cocaine than youth who do not smoke.
- In the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Survey 42.7% of U.S. high school students had used cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco in the 30 days preceding the survey. The U.S. CDC reports smoking rate for students in grades 9-12 increased from 27.5% in 1991 to 36. 4% in 1997 a 19 year high. The same CDC study shows smoking rates for African American male students doubled during that time from 14.1% to 28.2%.(4)
- In a report to Congress by the Federal Trade Commission (in 1999) U.S. cigarette makers increased spending on advertising and promotions in 1997 from $5.11 billion in 1996 to $5.66 billion in 1997, an increase of nearly 11%.
- Eighty-six percent of children who smoke prefer Marlboro, Camel, and Newport – the three most heavily advertised brands – compared t only about one-third of adult smokers. Between 1989 and 1993, when advertising for the new Joe Camel campaign jumped from $27 millions to $43 million, Camel’s share among youth increased by more than 50%, while its adult market share did not change at all.
- Teenagers smoke 1.1 billion packs of cigarettes yearly and will account for more than $200 billion in future health care costs.(5) 3.4 million packs of cigarettes each year are illegally sold to kids.(6)
(1) The George H.Gallup International Institute, “Teenage Attitudes and Behavior Concerning Tobacco”, 1992.
(2) Office on Smoking and Health, quote on front of 1998 list of publications catalog.
(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Recent Trends in Adolescent Smoking, Smoking Uptake Correlates and Expectations about the Future. ” Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics of the CDC/NCHS 1992.
(4) CDC analysis as presented in Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report. 47(12):229-33, 1998 Apr 3.
(5) CSmoking and nicotine addiction: a pediatric epidemic with sequelae in adulthood [Review] [80 references] Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 9(5):470-7, 1997 Oct.
(6) Colorado Vital Statistics, 1997. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
(7) Independent Evaluation Consortium. Final Report of the Independent Evaluation of the California Tobacco Control Prevention and Education Program: Wave 1 Data, 1996-1997. Rockville, Maryland: the Gallup Organization, 1998.
(8) Independent Evaluation Consortium. Final Report of the Independent Evaluation of the California Tobacco Control Prevention and Education Program: Wave 1 Data, 1996-1997. Rockville, Maryland: the Gallup Organization, 1998.
(9) Decline in Cigarette Consumption Following Implementation of a Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention and Education Program — Oregon, 1996-1998. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26 February 1999.