Tobacco in any form is harmful and can have serious health consequences.
Underage tobacco use is ILLEGAL. One must be 21 years or older to purchase and use tobacco products in the United States.
Working together, we can educate our teens on the dangers of underage tobacco use and help them to make healthy, tobacco-free choices.
LET'S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE RISKS...
NICOTINE, an extremely addictive chemical, is present in all tobacco products. Youth are likely to become addicted to nicotine faster than adults do. Underage use of tobacco products is especially risky, as nicotine can:
damage a developing brain causing issues with attention, learning, and memory
worsen a teen's irritability, anxiety, and impulsivity
narrow blood vessels and put added strain on the heart
and lead to an increased risk of addiction to other substances.
Smoking tobacco can result in reduced athletic performance. Smoking can cause a person to run slower and not as far, as well as reduce the the amount of oxygen available for muscles.
Tobacco use can also negatively affect one's personal appearance. What teen wants to have stinky hair and clothes, stained teeth, and bad breath?
Tobacco use has been linked to cancer, heart and lung disease, stroke, etc. According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. 1 in 5 deaths each year in the U.S. are linked to tobacco. In fact, people who smoke, die approximately 10 years earlier than people who have never smoked.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that if smoking continues at current rates, 1 out of every 13 of today's children will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.
TOOLS TO HELP TEENS QUIT TOBACCO
Creating a plan can make quitting easier. Understanding why you're quitting can help.
- Do you want to be and feel healthier?
- Is tobacco use negatively affecting your relationships with family and friends?
- Is tobacco use controlling your life?
- Are you spending your time and money using tobacco instead of engaging in activities that you enjoy?
For help devising a plan to stop using tobacco, visit:
quitSTART is a free smartphone app from Smokefree.gov. It was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This app helps people quit smoking with the use of personalized tips, inspiration, and challenges.
The quitSTART app is available for download from both the Apple Store and Google Play.
This program is designed for U.S. teens 13-17 years in age who are ready to quit smoking. It is offered by the National Cancer Institute's Smokefree.gov and lasts 6-8 weeks.
Text QUIT to 47848. After confirming enrollment, a teen will receive daily text messages to support them in quitting smoking.
Sources: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)