On November 20th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) celebrates its 39th Great American Smokeout as a part of its on-going effort to raise awareness on the effects of tobacco use in adults and teenagers alike.
Recently, the CDC released their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and their National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
The results were astonishing:
- 23% of high school students use a tobacco product.
- 90% of these students use cigarettes, cigars, hookahs or pipes.
- 90% of smokers tried their first cigarette by age 18.
- 23% of high school students surveyed report using a tobacco product in the last 30 days.
- 5% of high school students surveyed report using an e-cigarette in the last 30 days.
- 7% of middle school students surveyed report using a tobacco product in last 30 days.
- 2% of middle school students surveyed report using an e-cigarette in the last 30 days.
- 46% of high school students surveyed have used a tobacco product at least once.
- 18% of middle school students surveyed have used a tobacco product at least once.
Youth who currently use multiple tobacco products will likely develop a nicotine dependence that will lead to continued smoking into adulthood. Unless these percentages drop rapidly, it is estimated that 5.6 million youth currently under the age of 17 will die prematurely from a cigarette smoking-related illness. Fully implementing tobacco control programs will help keep youth from falling victim to tobacco products.
Cigarette smoking kills more that 480,000 Americans each year. It is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the US. Aside from the cost of human life, smoking is responsible for $133B annually in direct medical care for adults and $156B in lost productivity.
These surveys also show about 70 percent of all smokers would like to quit. Smokers can get free help quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.