Youth Tobacco Addiction Still Prevalent
In 2014 each day nearly 4,000 youth under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 1,000 youth in that age group become new daily cigarette smokers. Nearly 400,000 young people become daily smokers each year.
January, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General's landmark report that smoking is dangerous. Smoking rates have dropped from nearly half the American public to just about 18 percent of adults, yet tobacco is still the leading preventable cause of death, killing 1,200 people a day.
For every smoker who dies, there are two so-called replacement smokers trying a cigarette for the first time and getting hooked. Ninety percent of all smokers start before age of 18, 99 percent before the age of 26. if a person does not take that first cigarette before the age of 26, they have less than 1 percent chance of ever starting. ORI has been a leader in the area of tobacco cessation and prevention for nearly 50 years, focusing special attention on prevention activities with youth.