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Teen Smoking

Is you teen addicted to nicotine, or smoking? What are some of the risks of teen smoking? What do statistics say about teen smoking? In this article we will review some of the risks and statistics related to teen smoking and tobacco use.


Teen smoking has serious long-term consequences, including the risk of teenage smoking-related diseases and the risk of premature death, as well as causing increased health care costs associated with treating the illnesses. Any adults who are addicted to tobacco today began smoking as adolescents, and it is estimated that more than 5 million of today's underage smokers will die of tobacco-related illnesses. These consequences underscore the importance of studying patterns of smoking among adolescents.

Teen Smoking Statistics:

SOURCES: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • Between 2000 and 2001, the rate of daily teen smoking in the past month decreased from 14 percent to 12 percent among 10th-graders and from 7 percent to 6 percent among 8th-graders. Recent peaks in daily teenage smoking occurred in 1996 for 8th- and 10th-graders and in 1997 for 12th-graders. Rates have declined in all three grades since that time. The percentage of 8th- and 10th-graders reporting daily cigarette smoking in 2001 was the lowest in the 11 years data have been collected from students in those grades. For 12th-graders, the 2001 rate was the lowest since 1993.
  • Teen Smoking - Long-term trends for high school seniors show that daily smoking declined from 21 percent in 1980 to 17 percent in 1992, increased to 25 percent in 1997, and declined to 19 percent in 2001.
  • Males and females are similar in their rates of daily teen smoking. Among males, 6 percent of 8th-graders, 12 percent of 10th-graders, and 18 percent of 12th-graders reported daily smoking in the past 30 days in 2001; among females, the corresponding rates were 5 percent for 8th-graders, 12 percent for 10th-graders, and 19 percent for 12th-graders.
  • Rates of teen smoking differ substantially between racial and ethnic groups. White students have the highest rate of smoking, followed by Hispanics and then blacks. Among high school seniors in 2001, 24 percent of whites reported daily smoking, compared to 12 percent of Hispanics and 8 percent of blacks.

If you have a teen smoker or a teen who is addicted to nicotene (ie chewing tobacco) - don't wait to seek help from your local health care professional or therapist.  Teen smoking often leads to long term usage. For more teen smoking statistics - contact your local health dept.  KidsHealth may also have teen smoking statistics.

Related Article: Teen Drug Use / Abuse >>

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