According to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey:
Smoke Cigarettes Everyday
Only 1.4 percent of 8th graders reported smoking every day in 2014, compared to 2.7 percent in 2009; 3.2 percent of 10th graders reported smoking daily, compared to 4.4 percent in 2013 and 6.3 percent in 2009; and 6.7 percent of high school seniors reported smoking daily in 2014, down from 8.5 percent in 2013 and 11.2 percent in 2009. In 1997, at its peak, nearly a quarter of seniors were daily smokers.
Have Tried e-cigarettes
Use of e-cigarettes in the past 30 days was reported by 8.7 percent of 8th graders, 16.2 percent of 10th graders, and 17.1 percent of 12th graders.
Have Used a Hookah
However, other forms of tobacco remain popular. In 2014, past-year hookah use continued to increase among 12th graders to 22.9 percent—the highest rate since 2010 where 20% of 12th graders said they had used a hookah.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that, if smoking persists at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million adolescents are projected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.
Electronic cigarettes (also known as vape pens, e-hookahs, e-cigs) are battery-powered, cigarette-shaped devices in which a nicotine-based liquid is vaporized and inhaled, simulating smoking. Electronic cigarettes have largely been marketed as a safe alternative to smoking or as a way to help current smokers quit. This is due to the fact that e-cigs do not contain many of the carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes. However, the nicotine-based liquid contained in e-cigs contains many toxic chemicals.
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of 18 different studies on e-cig vapor revealed traces of solvents that can cause serious lung irritation.
While more research is needed on the long-term effects of e-cig use, the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) do not recommend the use of e-cigs for any purpose.
Tobacco contains the addictive stimulant nicotine. When nicotine reaches the brain, it stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system causing increased blood pressure, heart rate and respiration.
Nicotine causes an increase in dopamine levels. Dopamine is the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitter (chemical messenger). Nicotine tricks the brain into feelings of relaxation.
Yes! According to Cancer.org, about 70% of smokers say they want to quit and about half try to quit each year, but only 4% to 7% succeed without help. This is because nicotine has a fast-acting effect on the brain. Nicotine causes the release of dopamine, which causes temporary pleasant feelings for tobacco users. It also stimulates the central nervous system, causing a small adrenaline rush. However, after these feelings begin to fade away, smokers are struck with withdrawal symptoms which can include: cravings, headaches, nervousness, irritability, and trouble sleeping. These unpleasant feelings are alleviated by consuming more tobacco. This can make it incredibly difficult for a person to stop using tobacco.
People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. According to the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report, very few people start smoking after age 25. Nearly 9 out of 10 adult smokers started by age 18, and 99% started by age 26. This means that most adults who smoke actually started smoking as teens. Many smokers had friends or family members who smoked. Some wanted to “look cool” or “fit in.” Additionally, although the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement banned cigarette brand placement in movies, cigarettes appeared in every 2 out of 3 box office hits in 2005, with more than one third of these films being youth-rated. Youth who see smoking in the media are more likely to begin smoking.
Secondhand smoke (SHS) is made up of two different components:
When non-smokers are exposed to SHS, they are taking in nicotine and other toxic chemicals in the same way that smokers do. This is called involuntary or passive smoking. Sidestream smoke has a high concentration of carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). The particles in sidestream smoke are also smaller than those of mainstream smoke, meaning that sidestream particles enter a person’s lungs and cells more easily. This means that individuals who are exposed to other people’s smoke are actually inhaling a greater amount of toxic chemicals! SHS causes:
The only way to fully protect non-smokers from exposure to SHS indoors is to prevent all smoking in that indoor space or building.
No. Regardless of what type of tobacco a person is using, there are still serious health risks involved.
Talk to a trusted adult or seek out local substance abuse treatment centers in your area. A physician or a counselor can also assist in finding treatment.