Today, March 8, 2012, Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General, released Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General , which is the 31st Surgeon General’s report on tobacco since 1964. This latest report details important new facts about the epidemic of tobacco use among American youth ages 12 through 17 and young adults ages 18 through 25, including the epidemiology, causes, and health effects of this tobacco use and interventions proven to prevent it.
Key Messages from the Report
- More than 600,000 middle school students smoke cigarettes.
- More than 3 million high school students smoke cigarettes.
- Nearly a million and a half kids under age 18 will try their first cigarette this year.
- Smoking kills more than 1,200 Americans every day. And every tobacco-related death is replaced by two new smokers under the age of 25.
- The younger kids are when they try tobacco, the more likely they are to get addicted. 3 out of 4 teens who smoke will continue smoking into adulthood – even if they intend to quit in a few years.
- More than a million dollars an hour is spent to market tobacco products in this country.
- Successful tobacco prevention programs more than pay for themselves in lives and health care dollars saved; the most effective ones are funded at or near CDC-recommended levels.