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Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults

If cigarette smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That’s about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today


Many American youth have a dependance on tobacco use, in the form of cigarette to vapes, still tobacco use can cause dependance and serious health issues, and is not safe. Nicotine is extremely addictive and it can harm brain development in youth. Those that start using tobacco at an early age are more likely to develop an addiction than those who start at a later age, and youth who use vape products are more likely to smoke cigarettes. We as a community need to encourage our youth to practice healthier lifestyles, and that starts with ending tobacco use.

Here is a grid of tobacco product use among middle school and high school students in 2022:

Source: CDC
Source: CDC

As you can see, tobacco use among the youth is a serious issue and more needs to be done to promote, educate and encourage healthier living and lifestyle choices for the youth. Factors associated with youth tobacco products may include the following:

  • Physical and Social environments
    • The way that mass media promotes and advertises tobacco use can make youth want to take up smoking.
    • If youth see people their age smoking then they are also more likely to take up smoking and using tobacco products.
    • Highschool athletes are more likely to use tobacco products.
    • Youth are more likely to use tobacco products if their parents use them.
  • Genetic and Biological factors
    • There is evidence that youth are more sensitive to nicotine, so it may be easier for youth to become more dependent on nicotine sooner than adults.
    • Sometimes genetic factors may make it harder for youth to quit smoking compared to adults.
    • Smoking during pregnancy may make it more likely for the child to smoke cigarettes in the future.
  • Mental Health
    • There is a strong relationship between youth smoking/ tobacco use and stress, depression, or anxiety.
  • Personal Views
    • Young people are more likely to smoke when they expect positive things from smoking, such as coping with stress or losing weight.

It is critical that you keep the youth from starting smoking and using tobacco products. The youth tobacco use can be prevented by families, schools, communities and policy makers joining together to end youth tobacco use. Parents can set a good example for their children by not using tobacco and keeping their homes tobacco free. Schools can provide tobacco intervention programs to educate students about the dangers of tobacco. States can pass legislation to increase tax on tobacco products, pass and implement smoke free indoor air laws, and also limit minors access to tobacco products by raising the age of purchase and also restricting flavors of tobacco.

Read more about ending youth tobacco use at:


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