Each day in the United States, about 4100 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 try smoking for the first time. Nearly 80% of smokers try their first cigarette before age 18, meaning that children and teenagers constitute the majority of all new smokers. The industry’s advertising and promotion campaigns often have special appeal to these young people, 83 percent of whom choose the three most heavily advertised brands. Within days or weeks of first cigarette use, symptoms of nicotine dependence may appear in adolescents. Smoking at an early age increases the risk of lung cancer, and the risk rises as the individual continues to smoke.
Truth is the largest youth smoking prevention campaign in the country – and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry.
- The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. They advocate for public policies proven to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.
- Youth Tobacco Cessation Collaborative (YTCC)
The goal of YTCC is to ensure that every young tobacco user (aged 12–24) has access to appropriate and effective cessation interventions. They have released several publications, fact sheets, and presentations on youth tobacco cessation.
- Healthy Youth: Tobacco Use—Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
This site, hosted by the CDC, includes information on tobacco use among young people and fact sheets on school health policies and programs.
- Youth and Tobacco Use Fact Sheet—Legacy
- Youth and Tobacco Use Fact Sheet—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Tobacco and Kids Fact Sheet – Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
- The Changing Landscape of Youth Tobacco Use new
- Designed for Addiction: How the Tobacco Industry has Made Cigarettes More Addictive, More Attractive to Kids and Even More Deadly new
- 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Report new
- 2012 The Surgeon General’s Report—Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults
- CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report—August 10, 2012
This report focuses on the current tobacco use among Middle and High School Students.
- NIDA for Teens—National Institute on Drug Abuse
This site created for teens by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Smoke-Free Teen—National Cancer Institute
This site was developed for teens by the NCI.
- Youth Tobacco Cessation: A Guide for Making Informed Decisions—Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
This document is intended to help organizations decide whether to undertake youth tobacco-use cessation as a specific tobacco control activity.
- NOT on Tobacco Program
NOT is the American Lung Association’s (ALA’s) voluntary program for teens who want to quit smoking. It is the most researched, most widely used program in the United States for 14-19 year olds.
Webinars and Podcasts
- Attack Toolkit Webinar on Tobacco Industry Marketing
This interactive webinar was designed for tobacco control advocates and enthusiasts working with youth and young adults.