According to the CDC, more than 3,000 young people become regular smokers every day, which is more than one million new smokers a year. With 22% of high school students and 10% of middle school children smoking in America, the habit is considered an epidemic. And smoking teens frequently continue to smoke regularly as adults, increasing their risk of dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Half of adults who smoke were regular smokers by their 18th birthday, and 90 percent had started by the age of 21. The average age of daily smoking initiation for new smokers in 2006 was 18.9 years.
Every day approximately 4,000 children between 12 and 17 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 1,300 of them will become regular smokers. Half of them will ultimately die from their habit.
Almost 90 percent of adults who become regular smokers began as teen smokers before the age of 18. Research indicates adolescents are at the greatest risk of smoking when their parents began smoking at an early age and the parents' smoking quickly reached high levels and persisted over time.
There are a variety of factors indicated for teens smoking, including peer pressure, entertainment, rebellion, and stress.
American Lung Association: Teens Smoking
TeenDrugAbuse.us: Teens Smoking
YoungWomensHealth.org: Teens Smoking
Quit Smoking Help
Amazon.com: Teens Smoking