Approximately one in four Americans aged 12 or older (69.5 million people) uses a tobacco product. The majority (82.7%) of tobacco users aged 12 or older smoke cigarettes, and millions of people also used other types of tobacco, such as cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff in the past month.
The best way to be tobacco free is not to start. Nearly all tobacco use begins in youth and young adulthood—88% of adult daily smokers smoked their first cigarette before turning 18. Approximately 18% of high school students smoke cigarettes. Nearly 10% use smokeless tobacco, and young people who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers as adults.
By helping teens and young adults avoid using tobacco, we will help them live longer and healthier lives. We can make the next generation tobacco free.
Although we still see people using tobacco in movies, TV, and advertisements, most teens, adults, and athletes don’t use it.
Risk & Protective Factors – Is your child at risk of using or becoming addicted to tobacco products? Learn the signs and factors in this Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) resource.
Now we have started seeing TV ads for electronic or “e-cigarettes” with some celebrities marketing these devices that contain nicotine. The nicotine is the addictive ingredient in tobacco products. In March of this year, the state of South Dakota passed a law treating e-cigarettes as a regulated tobacco product, prohibiting sale to minors. But not all states have done this. Learn more about electronic cigarettes.
If you are already a smoker…Quit Now! Many people try several times before they quit for good. But they do succeed. Quitting is hard, but— You Can Quit.
Quitting “cold turkey” isn’t your only choice. Talk to your doctor about other ways to quit. Most doctors can answer your questions, give advice, and suggest medicine to help with withdrawal. Some of these medicines you can buy on your own. For others, you need a prescription. Your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist can also point you to places to find support.
Quitting smoking now improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses.
See I’m ready to quit! for additional resources from the CDC.
It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking. If you or someone you know is thinking about quitting, use these tools and resources available from Smokefree.gov:
Learn what you can do to help protect your loved ones and community by downloading the Fact Sheet on Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use in the U.S. [pdf].
- State Quitline Number: 1-866-SD-QUITS (737-8487)
- American Cancer Society Quitline: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669)