Did you know that smoking harms just about every organ in your body? Smoking, often associated with lung cancer, is also a leading culprit in bladder and kidney cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and even an increased risk in pregnancy complications.
According to betobaccofree.hhs.gov, every day in the U.S., nearly 2,300 youth under age 18 smoke their first cigarette, and more than 750 male youths use smokeless tobacco for the first time.
Nicotine, the key ingredient in tobacco products such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes, is highly addictive. Once hooked, the more you smoke and the more nicotine you put into your body, the more of the drug you need to feel normal. Before many people know it, they are smoking one to two packs of cigarettes a day.
Smoking and Adolescents
Adolescents are especially susceptible to the dangers of nicotine because the teenage brain is still developing, making it more vulnerable to addiction. This is why tobacco use is highest among teens.
The good news is, cigarette smoking among adolescents has declined over the past decade thanks to education and awareness campaigns. HOWEVER, the use of e-cigarettes and other types of smokeless tobacco or vaping, has INCREASED in popularity among teens over the past several years.
Types of tobacco products include:
- E-cigarettes (Vaping)
- Smokeless tobacco (Snuff, chew)
Following are several important resources to help you understand why tobacco products are not only harmful to your health and the health of those around you, but why they are so addictive:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/index.htm
- American Family Physician - https://www.aafp.org/afp/topicModules/viewTopicModule.htm?topicModuleId=28#0
- BeTobaccoFree - https://betobaccofree.hhs.gov/basic-information/index.html
- National Institute on Drug Abuse - https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/tobacco-nicotine-e-cigarettes/nicotine-addictive
- About E-Cigarettes - https://www.centeronaddiction.org/e-cigarettes/about-e-cigarettes
Teens and Tobacco – Knowing the Risks
- Smoke Free Teen - https://teen.smokefree.gov/the-risks-of-tobacco/know-the-risks
- Teen Substance Use - https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-prevention/teenage-addiction
Learn more about prevention, talking to teens about smoking and resources for families here.
Get the latest information on programs for quitting smoking here.