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why do smoking statistics continue to rise among adolescents?

Feb 28, 2008
It is very sad but true that smoking statistics, particularly for adolescents, get worse and worse each year. Although scientists and doctors are able to track more and more of the harmful effects of smoking and can accurately tell what damage is being done to the human body and the environment, more and more people are still taking up the habit. Despite all the knowledge we have available to us and the research that is being carried out, young people are continuing to start smoking with each generation, and unfortunately, are also suffering the consequences of that smoking, including increased cases of asthma, heart disease, and cancer.

Here are some statistics:

According to age.

About 6,000 adolescents, i.e. under the age of 18, take up smoking every day. Work that out on an annual basis and it's getting very close to 800,000 new adolescents lighting-up each year.

According to the latest smoking statistics in 2001, 90 percent of smokers begin to smoke before the age of 21. A national survey of high school students showed that the overall prevalence of current cigarette use was 28 percent. A whopping 20 percent of 12th graders smoke cigarettes daily, 12 percent of 10th graders smoke and 5.5 percent of 8th graders are smoking daily.

Smoking statistics by number.

According to estimates there are at least 4.5 million U.S. adolescents who smoke. That's about equivalent to the population of Alabama. If these patterns continue, there will be an estimated 6.4 million children who will die prematurely from a smoke-related disease. It is just as difficult for adolescents who smoke regularly to be able to quit as it is for long-time smokers.

Most adolescents who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, report that they would like to quit, but are not able to do so. Cigarette advertisements tend to highlight themes which appeal to teenagers and young adults - like youthful vigor, sexual attraction and independence, all of which make it more difficult for these young adults.

These smoking statistics do not just affect smoking alone. Tobacco use in adolescence is associated with a range of health-compromising behaviors, including being involved in fights, carrying weapons, engaging in high-risk sexual behavior and using alcohol and other drugs.

We need to take notice of scientific research and data if we are to help our young people but statistics show that despite all our research and knowledge, they still continue to smoke every year and will continue to suffer the consequences of their decisions. It is up to us to help them make the right decisions about smoking.
About the Author
Learn more about unhealthy habits, especially smoking; learn the dangers of smoking, why you should be worried about smoking, and get help to quit smoking.
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