More than $1 million is spent each hour to market tobacco products in this country--and 99 percent of all new smokers are youth and young adults who are enticed by this marketing. According to a new Surgeon General’s report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, far too many young people use tobacco.
In the U.S., more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke cigarettes. In Alabama, surveys indicate that an estimated 18.6 percent of high school students smoke and 10,000 Alabama youth under 18 become new daily smokers each year.
More than 1,200 people die every day in the U.S. due to smoking. For every death, at least two new youths or young adults become regular smokers. About 90 percent of these replacement smokers smoke their first cigarette before age 18.
Smokeless or spit tobacco is also a concern. In Alabama, 19.1 percent of high school males use smokeless or spit tobacco.